WBO super lightweight champion, Josh Taylor, will face former unified lightweight champion, Teofimo Lopez, on June 10 at New York’s Madison Square Garden Theater.
The long-rumoured fight has now been made official, with Top Rank making the announcement for the ESPN / Sky Sports broadcast event.
Taylor, undefeated in 19 and formerly undisputed, will return to the States for the first time since unifying all the division’s major belts against Jose Ramirez in May of 2021.
Since then, ‘The Tartan Tornado’ has fought just once – outpointing Jack Catterall in Glasgow in one of the most controversial judging decisions of recent memory. It’s that win that has seen the Scotsman inactive, as various attempts to make a rematch have been pitched and missed.
He vacated belts in the process, and now holds just the WBO title. He told Sky Sports that this fight provides the motivation he needs to perform.
“These are the kind of fights, all these big names in the sport that keep the motivation and the fire burning in my belly and give me that excitement and that buzz.
“The fire’s clearly burning. I’m really excited to be here and boxing in the Mecca of boxing. Madison Square Garden is where all the giants and all the legends of the sport have boxed in the past. Hopefully I can do this fight and I become a legend, a present legend.”
He was complimentary of his opponent’s fighting style, but believes it plays into his hands.
“He’s got a great style. You’ve got to give credit where credit’s due. He went out and beat Lomachenko who at the time was one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the planet and he went out and won.
“He’s a very good fighter. Stylistically I think it’s a very good fight for myself as well with the way he comes to fight. He comes looking for you and doesn’t take a backwards step. He’s a very aggressive, front-foot pressure fighter.
Taylor went on to predict a knockout, and said it would be personally satisfying as Lopez has been ‘talking smack.’
The Brooklyn native shocked the boxing world when he beat pound-for-pound great, Vasiliy Lomachenko, to become unified lightweight champion.
An upset split-decision loss to George Kambosos followed, and put a sour note on the 25-year-old’s career as he struggled to accept the defeat.
With two wins up at 140lb under his belt – Pedro Campa TKO, Sandor Martin SD – Lopez is now angling to change the trajectory of his career once more with a win over Taylor.