Josh Taylor vs Teofimo Lopez: fight summary, round by round, undercard, stats
Teofimo Lopez defeats Josh Taylor to win WBO world title
Teofimo Lopez puts on a counterpunching masterclass
Outboxing a pugilist is perhaps the most difficult thing to do in all of sport, and Teofimo Lopez did it tonight in Madison Square Garden. Josh Taylor has made his career on counterpunching and in the face of that, Lopez put on a counter puncher's masterclass.
In the early going, it looked as if Taylor would be too much for Lopez, as round after round fell to the champion's aggression. But Lopez had a gameplan to wait for the counter and he stuck to it, catching Taylor time and again with that right hand.
Not much damage done in the early rounds, but cumulatively, as the fight wore on, Lopez's shots began first to frustrate, then to sting, and finally to stagger Taylor. Stealing the middle rounds of the fight, the bout drew even and as the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth came into view, Taylor was in serious trouble.
The final round was a culmination of all that Lopez had trained and planned for, all that he fought for in the previous eleven rounds, as a desperate Taylor lunged out trying to win that last round. He jumped onto Lopez's right hand yet again and the momentum changed again.
In a fight that was at times back and forth, in the end it was clear that Lopez had taken the title. One of the judges gave it as an impossibly wide 117-111, which was undoubtedly a nonsense score, but the other two scored it 115-113, a true reflection of the fight that took place.
For the second time in his career, Teofimo Lopez has taken the titles off of the lineal, undefeated, undisputed champion. Hearing the words, "And the new..." is something that Lopez might get used to, this time in a second division.
That is going to do it from our live coverage of the Josh Taylor vs Teofimo Lopez fight, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! Stay in touch with all of the boxing and sports news with Diario AS USA and we hope to see you again next time! Goodbye
That was an outstanding win by Lopez although to be completely fair to Taylor, the judge that scored it 117-111 was blind. I'm not sure what fight he was watching, but it wasn't the one taking place in the ring at Madison Square garden.
Teofimo Lopez wins Unanimous Decision
AND THE NEW...! Teofimo Lopez has done it.
The judges saw it:
I have that 115-113 for Lopez.
Another great right hand from Lopez stops Taylor in his tracks. Lopez tags him again and then runs to a neutral corner to end the round. I have that as a Lopez round which would mean that he is the new champion. Let's see what the judges say.
Taylor walks onto a good jab and it wobbles him. Lopez doesn't quite run in for the finish, but the momentum has changed. A great body shot from Lopez hurts Taylor, and he doubles over.
He doesn't go down, but Taylor is in trouble here.
Round twelve and Taylor comes out aggressive. Lopez is waiting for that big counter.
As we come into the final round, I have it 104-105 to Lopez. This last round will be the decider.
Lopez catches Taylor with another right and Taylor's legs look a bit shaky as the round ends.
Lopez is coming forward now and Taylor walks onto a big right hand. Lopez has been waiting for that shot all night, and Taylor took it well.
Round eleven and Taylor lands a body shot to get going. Lopez is still waiting for that counter and doing a good job of it.
Round ten and this is still fairly even, although Taylor is starting to slow as Teofimo is still quick and sharp.
Taylor gets warned for throwing a body shot when Lopez was bent over, but there was no break called by the ref. Now Lopez looks tired as well. Taylor is landing a few more hurtful shots.
Lopez is trying to unload and having some success. Taylor switches to orthodox before going back to southpaw. Lopez's hand speed is astounding and giving Taylor all kinds of problems.
Round nine and Lopez complains of a late hit as the ref calls break. There is no warning for either fighter but as they continue, Lopez gets a good jab in and Taylor answers it.
Teofimo Lopez starts to showboat as he jumps in and lands a left hand. Taylor was caught as the round ended.
Teofimo Lopez complains of a low shot, but ther is no time out. The two men get back into trading and Lopez lands a great right hand, with Taylor responding with a superb left of his own.
Round eight and a cut has now opened up on Teofimo's left eye, adding to his worries with that cut nose. Taylor comes in aggressive and lands a couple of good shots. He needs to come with combos more than just single shots though.
Lopez caught Taylor with a nice parting shot as the round ends.
Round seven and both are trying to become the counter puncher. Both are having success with it, but Taylor is landing the bigger shots. Lopez works well with combos, but the big left is getting thorough from Taylor.
After six, this fight is dead even. There is very little to separated the two.
Lopez comes in now and Taylor is on the counter. Lopez throws a low shot and the referee gives Taylor time to recover. As they come back together, Lopez is the aggressor and ends the round strong.
Round six now and Lopez is staying out of trouble. Taylor is probing, always in and then out, going back with the low right jab, trying to find the body.
Lopez is doing a sterling job of moving to his left, staying out of range and landing his shots.
Taylor is pushed into the role of aggressor here and Lopez is doing a good job of countering what he brings.
Round five and Taylor comes in with some hard shots to the face. Lopez is turning his back on those punches and Taylor continues to puch through, much to the displeasure of the New York crowd.
As the round winds down, they get back to boxing and Lopez is moving well. He steps back and catches Taylor with a counter. Taylor holds on for the bell but Teofimo won that round, the only one in the fight so far.
Lopez throws an elbow and Taylor comes back with a headlock. This is degenerating into a grudge match.
Round four and they both come out trading. This has been an all out war so far! Taylor lands a peach of a left on Lopez, and then it is Teofimo's turn to push his opponent to the matt. No knockdown.
These two are now trading in the middle of the ring. Taylor's eye is starting to swell as Lopez's nose is bleeding. Another razor thin round. It would be hard to give that to Lopez after going down twice, even if they were not knockdowns.
Round three and Lopez gets shoved into the ropes, going between two of them. The ref shouts stop and Taylor lands the late punch. Lopez complains and the ref has words with Taylor.
They come back out to the center of the ring and another great shot from Taylor sends Teofimo to the floor, but it is ruled a slip.
Round two and Lopez comes out blasting. Taylor wraps him up to end the threat. They go back to circling each other as they paw their jabs out. Taylor looks sharp and lands a hard left to the body.
Lopez comes back with a good combo and Taylor responds to the body. Lopez gets a little impatient and charges onto a counter right. Another close round, Taylor just knicks.
The round ends and it is as even as you would like. I feel that Taylor was a little more active and would just edge him the round.
Taylor is moving well and Lopez is not fussed by it. Taylor tries out a combo, putting Lopez on the ropes but no real damage done. They work around the ring and it is Lopez's turn to get Taylor onto the ropes. He works out of it easily and a cut opens up on Lopez's nose.
Round one gets underway with both fighters circling. Taylor is a soutpaw and naturally a little awkward for the orthodox Lopez. Sharp jabs from both as they test each other out.
Josh Taylor is 19-0 and is a former undisputed unified champion in the division, and Teofimo Lopez is 18-1 and has a history of dethroning champions.
This will be a 12 round fight.
Lopez comes out to mixed cheers and boos, while Taylor comes out to mostly boos. To be fair, that bagpipe is enough to do anybody's head in!
Josh Taylor vs Teofimo Lopez
And now time for the main event! Teofimo Lopez the firm local favorite, although technically the underdog. Josh Taylor is the reigning champion and the bookies' heavy favorite in this bout for the WBO and Ring magazine light welterweight world championship.
Zayas wins Unanimous Decision
The judges score it:
all three have it 80-71 for Xander Zayas
I make that 80-71 to Zayas, with Cruz failing to win a round, but we will go to the judges and see how they have it.
Cruz stays on Zayas and this round could be the first one that Cruz had a chance of winning. It has been all Zayas from beginning to end and in the end the Puerto Rican finishes strong.
The eighth and final round and Cruz comes out blasting, but Zayas is too good. He catches Cruz with a counter left and it is a testament to cruz that he kept his feet.
Zayas is a little slower and Cruz is getting shots in, but he is not able to put together anything to seriously trouble his opponent. Zayas has Cruz hurt with a great combo, catching him with a jab and a right to the chin. The bell definitely saves Cruz there.
Round seven and Cruz comes out aggressive, perhaps sensing that he needs to get going and he has maybe left it too late.
Zayas starts landing shots later in the round, including a snappy uppercut and a great left to the body. Cruz is trying to walk him down and gets a good right hand in there that has Xander momentarily wobbled, but Cruz is just too ponderous to act on it.
Round six starts and Cruz is coming on a bit now, landing some good shots early. Zayas is answering back and is still the more active fighter, but this is better out of Cruz.
Cruz is much more active than any other round but it isn't enough in my opinion to take the round. Zayas was slowed, but not stopped, and did enough to take that round.
Round five and Cruz comes out a little more aggressive, finally snapping that jab out sharp. When he does that, Zayas is slowed, even if he is not hurt. As soon as Cruz takes his foot off the gas, Zayas goes straight back to his combos.
Another right and Cruz shoulder rolls it, but doesn't come back with anything.
Round four starts with a massive right hand by Zayas, snapping Cruz's head back. Very eye catching but Cruz munches it up. Zayas is being allowed to simply set his opponent up, pushing off and teeing up that right hand. Cruz needs to make his man pay for that hubris.
Cruz lands another good right hand, but it is just single shots, he needs to make Zayas pay every time he comes in for his punches. At the moment that isn't happening.
Round three gets going and Cruz is trying to shoulder roll and manages to get a good right hand in. Zayas comes straight back with a one-two combo and works Cruz into a state of confusion. The jab is lazy, none of Zayas' shots that come in are being made at cost.
Cruz starts to get shots in but they are single jabs, and always eating a shot on the way out. That is another clear Zayas round.
Round two and Zayas comes out working behind his jab. Cruz is game and coming forward but Zayas is getting thorough his guard, countering well, and using two and three punch combos.
Zayas worked well following the knockdown and got the 10-8 round
Cruz is not buzzed at all and gets straight up but he is in a deep hole now right off the bat.
Round one finally gets underway after that long break and Zayas wastes no time at all in putting Cruz on the floor!
Zayas certainly has the crowd behind him and being 11 years younger than his opponent, he is the clear favorite.
Xander Zayas vs Ronald Cruz
Now a light middleweight bout between 15-0 Xander Zayas and 18-2-1 Ronald Cruz.
This is billed as the co-main event for the evening and with tonight being Puerto Rico night, Xander Zayas is looking to represent the island with a win.
This is an eight round bout.
There is now a considerable break before the next bout, with the Polanco injury unforseen, we now have to wait a little while for the Xander Zayas vs Ronald Cruz bout.
The referee calls the fight, perhaps on doctors orders. Polanco's corner was saying that they wanted to continue, but his cheek is swollen mightily and Polanco says that he has a headache. It is probably the right move. Even thought the fighter might want to continue, the doctor has a responsibility to end it.
Round two starts and Polanco lands a hard right straight on the chin of the Brazilian, but it does nothing at all to slow him down. Conceicao is happy to throw his hands and everything is coming in bunches. Polanco is dancing but is still wearing alot of these shots.
A head butt sends Polanco to the floor and the referee calls time. It is not ruled a knockdown but the crowd are unhappy when they are shown the replay.
Round one and Conceicao is dominant from start to finish. He lands hurtful, spiteful shots and Polanco is doing all he can to stay out of reach. The Dominican is trying to get something started, but he simply can't get a shot in.
Conceicao vs Polanco
Now we get a super featherweight bout between Brazil's Robson Conceicao and the Dominican Republic's Nicolas Polanco.
Conceicao is 17-2 while Polanco is 20-4.
Rosario wins Unanimous Decision
The judges score it:
77-75 in favor of Omar Rosario. I gave one round as a draw, and they clearly gave it to Rosario.
The final minute of round eight sees them both exchanging punches, toe to toe, and Rivera comes out on top of that one. This will go to the judges and it will be interesting.
I give that round to Rivera, which would make it 77-76 in favor of Rosario. Let's see what the judges say.
Both fighters come out landing shots, neither one giving ground, both attacking the body. Rosario's punches, as all through the fight, are compact and wasting no energy. Rivera's work on his body is beginning to show though, and Rosario is breathing heavy.
Coming into the final round, I have it 68-66 to Rosario, so it is very close. Rivera could use a knockdown to make his case, but who knows?
Another round where there was little to decide who won, but maybe the more dangerous, hurtful shots came from Rosario.
Round seven gets started and this fight is much closer than I imagined that it would be in the early going. With Rivera's wild attacking style and Rosario's compact discipline, I had expected this to be a runaway for Rosario. But it is virtually dead even as the second-to-last round gets underway. There is very little between these two warriors.
As the round settles into a war of attrition, both trade uppercuts in the clench, with neither fighter a clear winner. The final ten seconds sees Rosario go in for a clumsy attack and the round ends on a break.
Round six and the come out and get straight back to the wrap-up. Rosario is more efficient with his shots, but Rivera's work rate is higher, although less effective.
Rosario manages to stay just out of range and land a few counters to slow Rivera down. They both lean on each other and start to trade inside work. Rivera is working the body while Rosario's uppercuts are snapping his opponent's head back. It is almost toe to toe sutff and when they break, Rivera looks to be the more tired of the two.
That is a difficult round to score. The opening minute was all Rivera. The last minute was clearly Rosario. That could be a draw.
Round five and Rivera comes out with some good hard shots, finally landing that left on Rosario. This is very good from Rivera.
Round four sees both fighters trading jabs, but both getting in and out quickly. In a good display by Rivera, the eye-catching last ten seconds were a flurry of body shot by Rosario, which will be enough to knick the round for him.
Both fighters did good work in that round, but the bigger shots were landed by Rosario. It was a close round, and I would give it to Rosario. But I could see it going either way.
Round three and both fighters are happier to work close and as a result more shots are landing, both ways. Rivera is landing that left to the body almost at will, but then eating a counter right on his way out.
That was a Rosario round for me, but again, the flurry of punches, as ineffective as they were, all came from Rivera.
Round two gets going and the action is still in Rivera's hands. He misses a huge left and walks onto a good counter to the ribs. Rosario ties him up and starts to work the body in close. A little more of that could slow Rivera down and sway the momentum.
I like Rosario's style, waiting for the counter, always in control. Judges tend to favor action over defense, though, and I think that they will give that round to Rivera.
Round one and Rosario comes out compact, orthodox, looking like he is content to wait. Rivera, a southpaw, is more showy. Taking big sweeping shots, trying to force the issue.
Rosario vs Rivera
The next fight on the undercard is Omar Rosario vs Jan Carlos Rivera in an all-Puerto Rican eight rounder.
Rosario is 10-0 facing the 8-1 Rivera.
Knyba wins Unanimous Desicion
The judges have it:
79-73 across the board in favor of Daniem Knyba. Somehow they gave a round to Olguin, but where that round was is a mystery.
Round eight is the final round of this warmup bout and Olguin comes out throwing but is quickly subdued and it looks as if he is very nearly puffed out. He walks onto a beautiful counter right just as the bell sounds. Knyba clearly outclassed Olguin from start to finish. This will go to the judges but if it is anything less than 80-72, it would be a travesty.
The workout continues through rounds four through seven. Nothing to report, Olguin is trying to stay in the bout, largely in response to the referee's warnign between rounds six and seven that he needed to see a full round of action and not single punches out of the American.
Olguin is a southpaw and some awkwardness is to be expected. Perhaps this is why Knyba isn't going all out for the knockout. More likely, though is that the Pole wants to get some work in. His shots are stinging, his punches are on the money, and it is all that Olguin can do to stay on his feet.
Olguin managed to grapple his way into calming that round down and survived to the end. It was all a lopsided fight, with Knyba working out on the American, but at least he wasn't banged out quickly.
Knyba has Olguin turned around as round two gets started and the ref may have to step in at some point here.
Knyba is an 11-0 prospect, while Olguin is a 9-5 journeyman, pretty much in there to give Knyba a workout. So far, it isn't much of one, though.
As the round ends Olguin is clearly overmatched and this will not be long before being stopped.
Round one and Knyba comes out banging! Olguin takes a flurry of shots square on the chin and is starting to bleed.
We get straight into the action as the undercard gets underway. American heavyweight Helaman Olguin takes on Polish heavyweight Damian Knyba.
Welcome to Diario AS as we bring you the Josh Lopez vs Teofimo Lopez clash live from Madison Square Garden in new York.