Undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor says he thinks three-belt 135-lb champ Teofimo Lopez is “scared” of fighting Vasily Lomachenko in a rematch now that the Ukrainian fighter is healthy.
Taylor believes that the 24-year-old Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) is struggling to make the 135-lb limit at this point in his career and is ‘scared’ of fighting not only Lomachenko (15-2, 11 KOs) but also his IBF mandatory George Kambosos Jr. (19-0, 10 KOs), who he’s scheduled to face this month on November 27th on DAZN at Madison Square Garden in New York.
It is a bad look on Teofimo’s part that he’s chosen not to give Lomachenko a rematch after beating him a year ago by a 12 round unanimous decision in October 2020.
Most boxing fans know by now that Lomachenko fought with an injured right shoulder that required surgery after the contest.
It seemed apparent that Lomachenko had a shoulder problem during the fight, so it would have been a good gesture on Teofimo’s part to give him a rematch.
The fact that Teofimo has chosen not to fight Lomachenko again reflects poorly on him, suggesting that he lacks the self-confidence to face him after his surgery.
Taylor: Teofimo is scared of Lomachenko rematch
“Of course, I would,” said Josh Taylor to Fighthype when told that Devin Haney said he’ll beat Teofimo Lopez. “If that fight happens, it’ll be a real dog at 140 if it happens. All this talk, he’s trying to cash-in,” said Taylor about Teofimo.
“He’s playing a game. I really have no interest in the guy, but if the fight happens, it happens. I don’t think it’s a risk,” said Taylor about a fight between him and Teofimo. “For him, of course. It’s a massive fight for him, and it’s him cashing in.
“It’s him getting his lottery win, and I think he’s avoiding Kambosos. I think he’s scared of him and struggling to make the weight, and that’s why he keeps pulling out.
“I think he’s scared of the rematch with Loma as well because he knows he fought an injured Lomachenko. So, I think Lomachenko firing on all cylinders beats him. It’s a good fight. I’m not going to sit here and talk s***. Lopez done awesome in the last fight [against Lomachenko].
“He performed well and got the tactics right. He got the game plan perfect on the night, and he done it well.
“I just think Lomachenko was a little bit injured, and he also started a little bit too late. Once he got started, Lopez was on the back foot and really struggling. I think in the rematch, Loma goes earlier and wins that fight,” said Taylor.
Many boxing fans believe that Teofimo wants no part of a second fight with Lomachenko, so it’s not an earth-shattering revelation by Taylor that he appears scared of the former three-division world champion.
Teofimo looks like he’ll be done with the 135-lb division after facing George Kambosos Jr. on November 27th and then WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney in the first quarter of 2022.
After the Haney fight, Teofimo will move up to 140 to take on Josh Taylor for his four belts. The only question is, will Teofimo be coming off a loss to Haney when he faces Taylor or a win?
Prograis needs to rebuild to rematch
“I could do my whole career at 140 if I wanted to. He needs to get back on the scale and get back on the ladder,” said Taylor when asked what former IBF light welterweight champion Regis Prograis needs to do for him to get a rematch against him.
“I’m open for any fight. He [Prograis] just needs to climb back up the ladder. I’ve got all the belts, and I’m looking to do other things. I’m looking to become a two-weight world champion.
“I’m looking to be in massive fights. So, I think Prograis needs to get a couple of other big fights under his belt, and we’ll see what happens. I’m not shutting anybody down.
“I think that’s a very tough fight,” said Taylor about a fight between Jose Ramirez and Prograis. “I think Ramirez is a lot stronger than Prograis, a lot more physical than Prograis.
“Prograis isn’t the most physically strong and doesn’t punch the hardest, but it’s a good fight. Prograis is slick and can box, but if you let Ramirez get his momentum going, he can be tough for people and very physically strong. It’s an interesting fight,” said Taylor.
It’s going to be difficult for Prograis (26-1, 22 KOs) to get two significant wins under his belt for a chance at a rematch with Taylor, as he’s struggling with making the 140-lb limit at this point in his career.
The 32-year-old Prograis has come over the 140-lb limit in his last two fights against Juan Heraldez and Ivan Redkach. Prograis now has hired a nutritionist, and he believes he can still make 140, but we’ll see if that’s the case.
Prograis needs to stay active, fight three to four times in 2022, and face more prominent names. Sandor Martin, who recently beat Mikey Garcia, would be ideal for Prograis’ next fight. If Prograis can beat Martin, that would be an excellent start for 2022.