Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez had been saved fully aside once more Friday after they made weight at Madison Sq. Backyard.
Taylor talked trash and pointed at his head to point that he’s mentally stronger than Lopez. A calmer Lopez regarded immediately at Taylor from throughout the stage, however the former unified light-weight champion didn’t say something to his opponent earlier than they went their separate methods.
Moments earlier, Taylor stepped on the New York State Athletic Fee scale at 139.8 kilos. Lopez was barely heavier, as he stripped bare and formally weighed in at their division’s most of 140 kilos.
Scotland’s Taylor, 32, will defend his WBO junior welterweight title in opposition to Lopez on Saturday night time in New York. Brooklyn’s Lopez, 25, is the necessary challenger for Taylor’s title.
Most sportsbooks listed Taylor as a 2-1 favourite Friday to beat Lopez in a 12-round primary occasion ESPN will televise from The Theater at Madison Sq. Backyard.
Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) will finish a 15-month layoff when he opposes Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs). The previous absolutely unified 140-pound champion hasn’t fought since February 2022, when he overcame an eighth-round knockdown and eked out a 12-round cut up choice in opposition to England’s Jack Catterall.
Taylor and Catterall (27-1, 13 KOs) had been scheduled to struggle once more earlier this 12 months, however their 12-round rematch was postponed twice. The second postponement was induced when Taylor suffered a foot harm whereas coaching in January.
Their struggle, which had already been pushed again from February 4 to March 4, was not rescheduled once more as a result of the WBO later ordered Taylor to defend his title in opposition to Lopez subsequent. Taylor gave up the IBF, WBA and WBC 140-pound championships after he beat Catterall final 12 months as a result of he didn’t wish to make necessary defenses of these belts in fights that didn’t curiosity him.
Earlier Friday, light-weight contender Jamaine Ortiz (16-1-1, 8 KOs) withdrew from his scheduled 10-round struggle in opposition to Mexico’s Humberto Galindo (14-3-1, 11 KOs) on the Taylor-Lopez undercard as a result of Ortiz couldn’t come shut to creating the contracted weight for his or her struggle.
The 27-year-old Ortiz, of Worcester, Massachusetts, just lately signed a co-promotional cope with Bob Arum’s High Rank. He hasn’t fought since he examined Vasiliy Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs) of their 12-round, 135-pound struggle October 29 in The Theater at Madison Sq. Backyard.
The official weights for the six remaining fights on the Taylor-Lopez undercard are listed beneath.
10 p.m. EDT; 7 p.m. PDT
Xander Zayas (15-0, 10 KOs), Dawn, Florida, 152.8 kilos vs. Ronald Cruz (18-2-1, 12 KOs), Los Angeles, 152.4 kilos, 8 rounds, junior middleweights.
6:15 p.m. EDT; 3:15 PDT
Robson Conceicao (17-2, 8 KOs), Salvador, Brazil, 130.6 kilos vs. Nicolas Polanco (20-4-1, 11 KOs), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 130 kilos, 10 rounds, junior lightweights.
Omar Rosario (10-0, 3 KOs), Caguas, Puerto Rico, 139.2 kilos vs. Jan Carlos Rivera (8-1, 6 KOs), Philadelphia, 138.4 kilos, 8 rounds, junior welterweights.
Damian Knyba (11-0, 7 KOs), Wudzyn, Poland, 261.4 kilos vs. Helaman Olguin (9-5-1, 4 KOs), South Jordan, Utah, 256.8 kilos, 8 rounds, heavyweights.
Bruce Carrington (7-0, 4 KOs), Brooklyn, 126.8 kilos vs. Luis Porozo (16-6, 9 KOs), Santo Domingo, Ecuador, 126.4 kilos, 8 rounds, junior lightweights.
Henry Lebron (17-0, 10 KOs), Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, 129.2 kilos vs. Carlos Ramos (17-2, 10 KOs), Madrid, Spain, 129.6 kilos, 10 rounds, junior lightweights.
Keith Idec is a senior author/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He may be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.