Undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez has fuelled a potential grudge match with world 140lbs king Josh Taylor by claiming the Scot is planning an escape route to welterweight rather than fight him.
Taylor underlined his supremacy at super-lightweight by twice dropping and outpointing rival champion Jose Ramirez to become the undisputed ruler of the 140-pounders in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The Scot received widespread acclaim for his performance, but is likely to test his talents in the lucrative welterweight division sooner rather than later. Yet outspoken Honduran-American Lopez has mischievously suggested that Taylor would rather vacate the 140lbs division than fight him.
“He’s talking about moving up to 147, which I figured, yo, they scared. They all scared,” claimed Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) at an open workout at the City Athletic Boxing Club in Las Vegas to beat the drum for his June 19 bout with George Kambosos in Miami. “That’s how I look at it. They know I’m too fast, I’m too smart, I’m too sharp and I’m too strong.
“He’d rather go up at 147 because he’ll beat a lot of guys, he’ll be quicker on his feet and he’ll be able to handle himself more at 147. I ain’t stupid. I see how the game go. But eventually, they gonna have to feel that pressure and I’m gonna come at them, too. Just like we asked about it with [Vasiliy Lomachenko, who Lopez outpointed to win his lightweight crowns last year].
“Take the most technical fighter [Lomachenko] and I outboxed him. What the hell does Josh Taylor bring to the table? Just he bringing my belts, that’s all he does.
“Y’all don’t smell it, but I do and I smell fear in all those guys. I can see it in they face, and I can see it in their team. They feel that pressure. I’m young, but at the same time, I’m ready. I told y’all, though, it’s too late for all them now. It’s too late.
“The fact that I faced Lomachenko, I like to challenge myself, first and foremost, and that just elevated me to a whole other level. June 19, when it comes, y’all gonna really see it. I see everything. I see it more clearly now than I did before. And I appreciate myself, first and foremost, for being able to step up to the plate, unlike these other fighters.”