Josh Taylor vs Teofimo Lopez Preview June 10th, 2023
Unbeaten WBO Super Lightweight Champion Josh Taylor of Scotland will be defending his title against former WBA Super World, IBF, WBO, and Ring Magazine World Lightweight Champion Teofimo Lopez of Brooklyn, New York this Saturday, June 10th. The 12-rounder from the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York can be seen live in America on ESPN and ESPN+ while fans in the UK can catch it on Sky Sports Action and those in Canada can catch it on TSN 5. Taylor last fought in February, 2022 when he beat Jack Catterall by a controversial split decision. Taylor also held the WBC, WBA and IBF titles at that time but has since relinquished those belts. Lopez was last in the ring in December when he edged Sandor Martin via a 10-round split decision to defend his WBO International Super Lightweight Crown.
- Teofimo Lopez +150
- Josh Taylor -170
The 32-year-old Taylor is a southpaw who won the IBF Super Lightweight Title in the World Boxing Super Series when he beat Ivan Baranchyk by unanimous decision in May, 2019 after dropping him twice in the sixth round. He added the WBA and WBC Diamond Titles to his collection five months later in the World Boxing Super Series finale against Regis Prograis when he took a majority decision. He then beat Jose Ramirez by unanimous decision in 2021 for the WBC and WBO Belts and dropped him along the way in the sixth and seventh rounds.
Taylor enters the ring with a perfect mark of 19-0 with 13 Ko’s and has boxed 115 rounds since turning pro in 2015. It’s evident Taylor carries better-than-average power around with him as his current knockout ratio stands at 68.4 per cent but he’s gone the distance in four of his last five outings. Taylor stands 5-feet-10-inches tall with a wingspan of 69.5 inches and has also beaten Ryan Martin, Viktor Postol, Winston Campos, Miguel Vazquez and Ohara Davies.
The ‘Tartan Tornado’ Taylor has fought mainly in the UK with a couple of bouts in America. As an amateur, he won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010 in the lightweight division and went 1-1 at the 2012 Olympics in London, England. He then won a gold medal at the 2012 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He’s also been the Commonwealth Champion as a pro and has adapted well to the pro game due to his power and polished boxing skills.
The 25-year-old Lopez climbs into the ring with a mark of 18-1 with 13 Ko’s and is former multiple world title holder who also held the NABF, WBC Continental Americas, USBA, and NABA-USA Lightweight Belts earlier in his career. Lopez originally won the WBA and WBO titles in October, 2020 when he beat a rather tame-looking Vasyl Lomachenko by a somewhat controversial unanimous decision and had won the IBF belt 10 months earlier when he stopped Richard Commey in the second round.
However, he lost a split decision and all of his titles to George Kambosos Jr in his first defence in November, 2021 in a fight which saw Lopez down in the first round and Kambosos on the deck in the 10th. Lopez is regarded as one of the sport’s top prospects due to his whirlwind, non-stop style and power but struggled against Masayoshi Nakatani in July 2019 as well as against Lomachenko in the last half of their fight and of course against Kambosos and again against Sandor Martin. He appeared to be back in top form against Pedro Campa last August though.
Lopez also owns better-than-average power and his current knockout ratio is the same as Taylor’s at 68.4 per cent. He isn’t really a one-punch KO artist even though he nailed Richard Commey perfectly in the second round of their December, 2019 bout to win the IBF crown. Lopez usually stops opponents with the sheer volume of punches he throws rather than with just one shot. He stands 5-feet-8-inches tall with a 68.5-inch reach so gives up two inches in height to Taylor and an inch in reach.
Lopez has 101 rounds of experience under his belt since making his pro debut in November, 2016. He also enjoyed a fine amateur career and fought for Honduras at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where he lost in the first round of competition. He’s also a former national Golden Gloves Champion and has had no problem adapting to pro boxing. Lopez has also beaten the likes of Edis Tatli, Diego Magdaleno, Mason Menard, William Silva, Vitor Jones, Juan Pablo Sanchez and Francisco Medel.
Taylor hasn’t fought since the Catterall controversy and will likely be a little rusty while Lopez has kept himself relatively busy. The pre-fight tour turned a little ugly when Lopez mentioned something about killing Taylor in the ring ans that has added to the bitterness between the two boxers. If both of these guys are at their best I think Taylor has the edge but he was far from his best the last time out. One punch could possibly stop this, but I think Taylor will pull it out thanks to his better boxing skills and solid chin.
Taylor is the more polished boxer overall.
Play Taylor -170 @ BetOnline.ag
Check out my recent boxing betting picks to see my current form.