NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 09: Josh Taylor (L) and Teofimo Lopez (R) face-off through the weigh in previous to their June 10 WBO junior welterweight championship battle at The Hulu Theater at Madison Sq. Backyard on June 09, 2023 in New York Metropolis. (Photograph by Mikey Williams/Prime Rank Inc by way of Getty Pictures)
NEW YORK—Teofimo Lopez Jr. has a method of annoying. Let’s see if he’s gotten below the pores and skin of Ring Journal and WBO junior welterweight titleholder Josh Taylor this Saturday night time on the Hulu Theater in Madison Sq. Backyard, which shall be broadcast reside in a Prime Rank occasion on ESPN (10 pm ET/7 pm PT).
Seventeen months in the past, Lopez (18-1, 13 knockouts) nearly died within the very ring he’ll be getting into, when he misplaced a split-decision to George Kambosos Jr. in December 2021.
Many imagine Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) acquired a present win together with his split-decision victory over beforehand undefeated Jack Catterall in his final outing. The 32-year-old Scottish southpaw suffered a minimize left eye, was down within the eighth and deducted some extent late within the battle for punching after the bell.
Taylor would be the largest opponent Lopez has confronted. Taylor additionally knocked off the undefeated Ryan Martin (TKO 7), Ivan Baranchyk (UD 12), Regis Prograis (MD 12), Apinun Khongsong (KO 1), Jose Ramirez (UD 12), in addition to Catterall (SD 12).
“He means what he says, and I imply what I say,” Taylor stated about Lopez throughout their Thursday press convention. “There is real dislike right here. He’s been disrespectful. I’m going to make him pay for his phrases on Saturday. I can’t wait to get in there. You will notice a Josh Taylor win, probably by KO, and good and early as properly.
“I do know he’s fighter. The model that beat Lomachenko is an excellent fighter. That’s the model I’m making ready for. It’s all about your preparation. I’ve ready diligently and to one of the best of my capability. You’ll see one of the best of me on Saturday night time.”
Lopez hopes he does.
“What’s ‘The Takeover’ if he doesn’t take over the fellows which can be the kingpins of the division?” Lopez stated. “So, in the case of Josh Taylor and the junior welterweights, he’s the man. That’s the man that it’s important to beat to be the best. That’s what we goal for on a regular basis.
“I labored my ass off. Eleven weeks of camp. That is going to be one of the best model of me. Apply makes enchancment. We’ve improved since my final battle. We’re able to placed on a present. I’m going to be a two-time lineal world champion.
“I’m enthusiastic about this. This is sort of a dream come true. What extra can you actually shoot for? No person has actually referred to as out Josh Taylor. Who is aware of why? Perhaps as a result of he beat everybody already. However I’m right here. I’m right here to return in there and take every little thing that you simply’ve received.”
Listed here are the weights:
WBO and Ring Journal Junior Welterweight Titles – 12 Rounds
Josh Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs), 139.8 kilos vs. Teofimo Lopez Jr. (18-1, 13 KOs), 140 kilos
Junior Middleweights – 8 Rounds
Xander Zayas (15-0, 10 KOs), 152.8 kilos vs. Ronald “Diablo” Cruz (18-2-1, 12 KOs), 152.4 kilos
Junior Lightweights – 10 Rounds
Henry Lebron (17-0, 10 KOs), 129.2 kilos vs. Carlos Ramos (17-2, 10 KOs), 129.6 kilos
Junior Welterweights – 8 Rounds
Omar Rosario (10-0, 3 KOs), 139.2 kilos vs. Jan Carlos Rivera (8-1, 6 KOs), 138.4 kilos
Junior Lightweights – 10 Rounds
Robson Conçeicao (17-2, 8 KOs), 130.6 kilos vs. Nicolas Polanco (20-4-1, 11 KOs), 130 kilos
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter who has been working for Ring Journal/RingTV.com since October 1997 and is the president of the Boxing Writers Affiliation of America.