Teofimo Lopez became a two-division world champion with an emphatic 12-round unanimous decision over Josh Taylor to win the WBO Junior Welterweight title before a Madison Square Garden Theater record crowd of 5,151.
“Teofimo’s win further cements his status as the true phenom of this era. His skill set, and ring IQ are unchallenged. He’s simply amazing,” said David McWater, President of Split-T Management.
The fight began at a fast pace with Taylor working the body. Lopez was able to land some “show me” right hands. Lopez started to foreshadow things to come by landing quick and pinpoint right hands that were able to stop Taylor in his tracks. That assault came in rounds three through five, with round four being a big frame for “The Takeover” as he rocked Taylor. The two fighters took turns over the next four-rounds.
Lopez was terrific over the next three rounds as he was dominant as hand speed proved to be too much. His right hand continuously found a home on the face of Taylor. In round 12, Lopez sealed the deal by hurting Taylor twice, with the latter being from a perfect right to the body that hurt Taylor.
Lopez, who was the undisputed lightweight champion, becomes a two-weight division champ by scores of 117-111 and 115-113 and is now 19-1. Taylor of Scotland is 19-1.
Lopez Post Fight Quotes: “It’s been a long time coming. We just beat the Number 1 guy. The lineal world champion. The former undisputed world champion.”
“I think let my emotions get the best of me. I do not want to take your life. I want to you to go back to your family. I apologize as a man.
“Josh Taylor is a tough dude. I can see why he beat so many fighters. But you’ve got to counter the counterpuncher. You’ve got to outsmart the man and get in there. And I did that. I think I did enough. This is what it is all about. I questioned myself for a good reason. You guys don’t understand. I’ve always been my worst critic. And you guys got a little glimpse of it. But I’ve just got to ask you one thing, and one thing only. Do I still got it?”
“I’m so grateful. This was a bout fixing what we needed to. That’s why I don’t leave my coach. I trust in him a lot.”
My next battle is in court for my son. That’s my next battle. I’m not really focused on who I’m going to fight next.”
Omar Rosario remained undefeated with a eight-round unanimous decision over Jan Carlos Rivera in a junior welterweight bout.
Rosario, 139.2 lbs of Caguas, PR won by scores of 77-75 and is now 11-0. Rivera, 138.4 lbs of Vieques, PR is 8-2.