Who is Josh Taylor? Teofimo Lopez’s opponent in his next fight
While perhaps little known on this side of the Atlantic, Josh Taylor comes into his bout with Teofimo Lopez as the firm bookies favorite.
When Teofimo Lopez squares off with his next opponent on June 10, Madison Square Garden will be entirely behind the Brooklyn-based fighter. But let us give a thought to Josh Taylor, the man from Scotland who will share a ring with Teofimo.
While he may not be as well known on this side of the Atlantic, Josh Taylor comes into this fight as the heavy favorite. The WBO and Ring magazine light-welterweight world champion, he previously held the WBA (Super), WBC, and IBF titles, being only the sixth fighter ever to unify the division.
With an undefeated 19-0 record, it is tempting to look only at Taylor’s last fight, which was a highly suspect split decision win over Jack Catterall in Taylor’s hometown of Glasgow, Scotland. The general consensus is that Catterall outboxed Taylor and the decision was a travesty.
But look back a little further and you will find a man who dealt handily with Regis Prograis and Ohara Davies; a fierce competitor who has been in wars with solid fighters and always found ways to win.
A southpaw, Taylor is slippery and comes at orthodox fighters from odd angles. He looks sharp working around to his opponent’s left and will work the body expertly.
Teofimo is perhaps the more athletic of the two, but needs to take into account just how wily Taylor can be when working with a straight forward one-two puncher. Lopez has a history of taking down undisputed champs, but in order to do it, he will need to get past an opponent who has experience digging himself out of holes.
In the lead up to the fight, Taylor has refused access to any cameras in his camp, suggesting that he is aware of Lopez’s ability to spot weakness and exploit it.
“It’s one of those things where you trust no one. They’ve been very accommodating and welcomed us with open arms, but we just don’t trust anyone and don’t want to open the doors. We want to keep it closed now it’s getting to the real serious end where we’re working on specifics. We’ve closed it down and made sure no one could see anything to get let out.”
In the week leading up to the bout, Taylor walked out of a joint interview with Lopez, claiming later that he simply “can’t be arsed listening anymore” to Lopez. Whether that is a sign of Teofimo getting under the Scotsman’s skin or simply a supreme mark of confidence by the champion, remains to be seen.