Teofimo Lopez says Josh Taylor is scared of fighting him and making excuses for why he doesn’t have to face him.
Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) says he wants to move up to 140 to challenge Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) for his four belts, but he’s talking about facing his WBO mandatory Jack Catterall next and then after that moving up to 147.
Teo feels that the Scottish fighter Taylor, 30, is running scared of him because he’s got too much speed and power.
Taylor is coming off of a big win over WBC/WBO light welterweight champion Jose Ramirez last Saturday night in their fight for the undisputed 140-lb championship in Las Vegas, Nevada.
What’s interesting is that immediately after the fight was over, Taylor’s promoter Bob Arum ruled out him taking on Teofimo next. Instead, Arum said he wanted Josh to take on Jack Catterall, his WBO mandatory.
Catterall isn’t a fighter that is well known in the U.S, and it’s clearly a HUGE step backward for Taylor to face him. That’s the equivalent of Taylor going back to when he fought British domestic level fighter Ohara Davies four years ago in 2017. Catterall is that type of opponent talent-wise.
Teofimo says Josh Taylor is running scared
“I’ve been talking about it, let’s make it happen,” said Teofimo Lopez on Tuesday in a Triller media session on a fight between him and Josh Taylor. “He’s talking about moving up to 147, which I figured.
“They’re scared, that’s how I look at it. They know that I’m too fast, too smart, too sharp and I’m too strong. He’d rather go up to 147 because he’ll be the lighter guy, 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’re going to have to feel that pressure, and I’m going to come at them too. Loma was the most technical fighter and I outboxed him. What does Josh Taylor bring to the table? He brings my belts, that’s all he does.
“Josh came forward too; he did the clinches [with Jose Ramirez],” said Teofimo. “Ya’ll don’t smell it, but I do. I smell fear in all of those guys. I can see it in their face, and I can see it in their teams. They feel that pressure. I’m young, but I’m ready.
“Yeah, he’s over here saying I’ve got unfinished business at 135 when in reality I cleaned up the whole division,” said Teofimo about Josh Taylor.
“I see it like this. I can’t go out with Kambosos and move up to 140. Even if I did, that would be with Taylor, but he has his mandatory with this guy [Jack] Catterall, and that’s it. I’ve got to finish with somebody at 135 clean,” said Teofimo.
It’s likely that by the time Teofimo moves up to 140, Josh Taylor will have cleared out and moved up to 147. Why wouldn’t Taylor stick around to face Teofimo?
You can argue that it’s a bad style match-up for Taylor, who faded down the stretch against Jose Ramirez. If Taylor gasses out against Teofimo, he might get stopped.