Teofimo Lopez says will NOT come to the UK to fight Josh Taylor over there. Although Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) would like to face the undisputed light welterweight champion Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) to capture all four of his titles at 140, he’s not going to put himself in a position of being the visiting fighter in the UK.
If Taylor wants to fight Teofimo, he’ll need to come to the United States and fight him on his turf just like he did last Saturday night when he took on American Jose Ramirez in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It would be in Top Rank’s best interest to match Teofimo and Taylor together while there’s still a chance with both undefeated. If Taylor moves up to 147 to challenge WBO champion Terence Crawford, there’s a high probability that he’ll lose.
Before Taylor takes that risky fight with Crawford, it would be wise for him to face the more beatable Teofimo, who just barely got by his last opponent Vasily Lomachenko.
Taylor needs to consider working a step aside deal with his WBO mandatory Jack Catterall to put him on ice so that he can face Teofimo next.
Teofimo won’t fight Taylor in the UK
“Oh no, not at all, I won’t do it,” said Teofimo when asked if he’d come to the UK to fight Josh Taylor.
“I won’t take the fight in the UK, not because I don’t believe I will beat him in the UK. It’s just the fact that I can see how much of the animosity and the way that folks are declaring that I’m not undisputed at 135.
“So I can just see the favoritism out there. That fight would be somewhere over here. I’m slowly becoming the cash cow in the division.
“These guys can make a better paycheck fighting me where I choose. I do eventually want to fight in the UK. That’s something I do eventually want to go out there and do.
“However, I’m not going to give anybody the upper hand on me. I’ve done it numerous times. The thing is now to keep playing my cards right and making those fights happen,” said Teofimo.
From Teofimo’s point of view, he doesn’t need to be putting himself in the position where he’s walking into the lion’s den of his opponents.
Teofimo holds three belts + the WBC Franchise title, and that puts him in a position where he doesn’t need to fight in Taylor’s backyard.
With that said, Teofimo will need to come up with a compromise that Taylor is willing to agree to if he wants to fight him. If not, Taylor will go up to 147, and Teofimo will have missed his chance.
Once Taylor’s gone from the 140-lb division, that leaves on Jose Ramirez and Regis Prograis for Teofimo to fight. The light welterweight division is a dead one without Josh Taylor.
That’s why it’s imperative for Teofimo to work a deal out with Josh while he’s still in the weight class at 140.
Lopez wants Josh Taylor clash at 140
“Josh Taylor did what he had to do; it was a great fight, great event,” said Teofimo. “The thing now is to make those types of fights happen, and hopefully, these guys are willing to step up.
“In 16 fights in, I never said no to one fight that was given to me. 135, I’m undisputed, and at 140, Josh Taylor is undisputed.
“We can make that fight happen, and Teofimo can become two-time undisputed world champion back to back,” said Teofimo.
The highly popular Teofimo still hasn’t become the undisputed lightweight champion.
He’s captured three of the four titles at 135, and the only one that Teofimo needs to become the undisputed lightweight champion is the WBC belt held by Devin Haney.
Teofimo views himself as the undisputed lightweight champion because he holds four titles in the division.
Even so, the WBC Franchise title doesn’t count because it’s a belt that you don’t win. It’s one that’s given to fighters that the World Boxing Council admires.
Teofimo should be able to become the undisputed lightweight champion by taking on the winner of this Saturday’s fight between WBC champ Haney and Jorge Linares.
Before Teofimo takes on the Haney vs. Linares winner, Teo has to defend against his IBF mandatory George Kambosos Jr on June 16th.
Their fight was originally scheduled for June 5th but was moved to June 19th due to the Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Logan Paul fight n June 6th.