Timothy Bradley has been mightily impressed by Josh Taylor and believes the Scot would trump Teofimo Lopez should the pound-for-pound stars clash in a fascinating encounter at 140lbs.
Both Taylor and Lopez are promoted by Top Rank and the Honduran American, who holds the WBA Super, WBC Franchise, WBO and IBF belts at 135lbs, has long stated his intention to move up to face Scotland’s undisputed champion at the weight above.
Two-division champion turned ESPN boxing analyst Bradley previously favoured Lopez to prevail in the potential match-up, but was swayed by Taylor’s virtuoso display against Jose Ramirez in unifying the super-lightweight crowns in May.
“Taylor is as legit a champion as they come. Anybody that can deal with the relentlessness, power, pressure of a guy like Jose Ramirez and actually hurt him has my respect,” Bradley told ESPN.com. “And then you have a guy like Lopez, who is fast, twitchy, speedy, and likes to have his way on the outside. He likes to control range with big shots, time guys well when they move him in and he mixes things a bit.
“Lopez doesn’t fight a whole lot on the inside while Taylor can do a little bit of everything. He’s bigger, taller, longer, can box on the outside, can press on the inside, can punch in spots. Taylor has a very good chin and he showed that against Ramirez.
“In the past, I would’ve picked Lopez, but right now I have to go with Taylor. He has shown me that he not only has the ability to adapt inside the ring, he showed me he’s also mentally strong. Against Ramirez he picked his spots wisely and fought on the outside. He was able to set up his left hand, that pull-counter off his feint, and caught Ramirez as he came in. That’s just brilliant stuff.”