Josh Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) defends his WBO junior welterweight title against Teofimo Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) live stream from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York on Saturday, June 10.
WATCH: Taylor vs Lopez Fight
Lopez is also looking to return to the spotlight. “The Takeover” beat Richard Commey in 2019 for the IBF lightweight title, and Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2020 for the WBA, WBO, and Ring belts. Sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19 and going through some promotional difficulty, Lopez lost the championship to George Kambosos Jr. in 2021.
Lopez, 25, moved up to light-welterweight after losing his lightweight belts to George Kambosos Jr in November 2021. The American shocked the boxing world the year prior by ending Vasiliy Lomachenko’s unbeaten run and he now looks for his first big win at 140lb against Taylor. So here’s all you need to know about tonight’s fight.
Josh Taylor, who previously held all four belts as the unified light-welterweight king, decided to vacate the three to pursue exciting matchups instead of being bound to mandatory challengers. This has led him to face off against rising star Teofimo Lopez, who has been vocal about his ambition to move up in weight class and vie for more titles.
Lopez became a unified lightweight champion, back in 2020, with a statement performance over Vasyl Lomachenko before losing the belts to George Kambosos Jr and has struggled to hit those same heights, despite being on a two-fight win streak. It means that both men arguably have a point to prove ahead of their much-anticipated world title clash in New York.
The contest pits UK’s undefeated former undisputed 140-pound king of Edinburgh, Scotland against former unified lightweight champion of Brooklyn, NY. The world championship bout is scheduled for 12 rounds.
Taylor has held his WBO belt since 2021 when he stopped Jose Carlos Ramirez twice en route to a unanimous decision victory. After prevailing in a dicey win over Jack Catterall early last year, he returns with the hope of keeping his record flawless this weekend. Our full preview of the fight can be read here.
Then in somewhat of a surprise move, the undefeated 32-year-old agreed to defend his one belt, the WBO super lightweight title, against long-time rival Lopez.
As for Lopez, some are left to wonder what his mental state is going into the fight. After “The Takeover’s” lackluster split decision win over Sandor Martin in late 2022, he questioned to his corner if he still has “it” anymore. Lopez has since claimed it was a strategy. He’s also claimed that he wants to take Taylor’s life in the ring, which likely led to their heated exchange during the weigh-ins.
Right off the bat, the weigh-in for this fight does matter when picking a winner. Having not fought since February of 2022, Josh Taylor could have some trouble making the weight or, at minimum, be hampered trying to squeeze down to 140. This will be Lopez’s third fight at the junior welterweight division in less than a year after competing at the champion level at lightweight.
Teofimo Lopez, 25, is finally getting his way to challenge for another world title after losing his unified lightweight crown to George Kambosos Jr two years ago by a 12 round split decision and electing not to take a rematch, even though it was offered to him by the Australian.
He then lost his titles to George Kambosos Jr, but has rebounded with wins over Pedro Campa and Sandor Martin, the latter of which could’ve come out with the decision himself.