Sports

Teofimo Lopez: Lightweight champion eyes Josh Taylor fight on rise through divisions

on

Spread the love

Teofimo Lopez
Teofimo Lopez shocked Vasyl Lomachenko with a unanimous points victory in Las Vegas in October

Undisputed world lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez is eyeing a fight with Britain’s Josh Taylor as he plots a step up the divisions.

Taylor hopes to add the WBC and WBO light-welterweight belts to his own IBF and WBA titles by beating Jose Ramirez.

Outlining hopes to take on the winner, Lopez, 23, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “They got to make that happen. Absolutely. I would love to do that fight in the UK.

“The main guy I do want to win from that fight is Josh Taylor.”

Speaking to the boxing podcast hosted by Mike Costello and Steve Bunce, the American added: “It’ll go to show everyone that we talk a lot, but we back it up.”

Lopez beat Vasyl Lomachenko by a unanimous points decision in Las Vegas in October to become the undisputed lightweight champion, adding the WBA, WBO and WBC ‘franchise’ titles to his IBF belt.

He is the youngest four-belt undisputed champion, with an unbeaten record of 16 wins from 16 bouts.

Taylor, 30, is hoping for a unification fight against Ramirez in 2021 and told BBC Scotland last month he wants to retire in two or three years as a three-weight world champion.

Teofimo Lopez
Lopez was named 2020 fighter of the year alongside Tyson Fury by Ring Magazine

Lopez said he is planning two fights this year at 135lb (lightweight) and one at 140 (light-welterweight).

He believes a bout with unbeaten compatriot Devin Haney is most likely next as plans to fight Australia’s mandatory IBF challenger George Kambosos have been scuppered by travel restrictions, and he ruled out fighting Ukrainian Lomachenko again.

“We beat him fair and square, we beat him clearly,” said Lopez.

“Had this fight been a split decision, then yes, we could talk about something but this turned out to be a unanimous decision for a reason.

“We outboxed the boxer, we beat the boxer, now it’s on to bigger and better things.”

Lopez believes he will prove even better when rising up the weights, eventually fighting at welterweight (147lb).

“We are resisting my full potential, because we want to make these other fights happen. At 140, you guys will see my full potential. At 147, you will see a lot more,” he said.

Analysis

Mike Costello, boxing commentator: “He seems very keen on a Josh Taylor fight if that unification contest comes up against Ramirez. What struck me was him saying that at 147, at welterweight, that’s where you’re really going to see the best of me.

“Quite often my gut feeling is it can’t be done but then I reflect on how small Floyd Mayweather looked when he was making those same noises. They’ve been talking about it for so long. I don’t think they would have done if it hadn’t been realistic.”

Steve Bunce, boxing pundit: “Reading what his father said after the victory over Lomachenko, and hearing what he said there, I’m not so sure he will dawdle too long at lightweight.”

Banner Image Reading Around the BBC - BlueFooter - Blue

About Frank Rideout