Teofimo Lopez will under no circumstance fight Josh Taylor in the UK
For some time now WBA Super, WBO and IBF World Lightweight champion Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (16-0, 12 KO’s) has been talking about moving up. He has also repeatedly stated that he wants a rumble with undisputed super lightweight champion Josh “The Tartan Tornado” Taylor (18-0, 13 KO’s). Although, in a recent presser Lopez has made it very clear that he is completely unwilling to take the fight in the UK. That is somewhat ironic considering that Taylor himself left his own backyard to fight Jose Carlos Ramirez on the road.
“Oh no, not at all, I won’t do it! I won’t take the fight in the UK. Not because I don’t believe that I will beat him in the UK, it’s just the fact that I can just see how much the animosity or just the way that folks are caring that I’m not undisputed at 135. You know, so I can just see the favoritism out there. That fight would be somewhere over here. At the end of the day, I’m slowly becoming the cash cow in the division. These guys can make a better pay check fighting me where I chose at the end of it. So, I do eventually want to fight in the UK. You know, that is something that I definitely want to go out there and do. However, I am not going to give anyone the upper hand on me.”
PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
In all actuality, his statement about not wanting to face Taylor in UK is loaded with inconsistency and broken logic. To begin, Lopez bases his unwillingness to go to the UK because the fanbase there doesn’t recognize the him as the undisputed champion. Well the simple answer to that is he is NOT undisputed. The cut and dry fact of the matter is Devin Haney holds the WBC World Lightweight title. Furthermore, no other sanctioning body even recognizes the farcical “Franchise” title that Lopez does hold.
Then Lopez says that he is the cash cow of his division (which is yet to be proven), but if he were fighting Taylor he would have to move up. If the Take Over moved up, he would no longer be in “his” division and he would be challenging for Taylor’s belts. So why would the champion concede to the challenger who has not even had one fight in the division? Viewed from his lens, it is overtly narcissistic for the Take Over to suggest that Taylor has to straighten his back and steady his resolve to fight him.
“You know Josh Taylor did what he had to do. It was a great fight and a great event. Top Rank and everything that they did, and kudos to them. The only thing now is making those types of fights happen and hopefully these guys are willing to step up! At the end of the day, sixteen fights in, I never said no to not one fight that was given to me. I am a man of my word at the end of the day and I carry my balls very tight when I go in that ring.”
“So hopefully these guys, they are already talking about moving up to 147 and everything and I can just sense the urgency of them not wanting to fight me. So the whole thing is one fight at time and hopefully we can make those fights happen. You know at 135 I’m undisputed, Josh Taylor is at 140 undisputed. We can make those fights happen and Teofimo can become two-time undisputed champion, back-to-back.”
NOT ADDING UP
Lopez admits that he watched the Taylor v Ramirez prizefight as he clearly had invested interest. With that being said there is no way on Earth is unaware that Taylor doesn’t recognized him as being undisputed. So it’s very telling that the Take Over is pretending that this statement is not floating around. Therefore, it will be interesting to hear him finally address the Tartan Tornado contradicting his claim of undisputed. It would be even better if Lopez took his own advice, stepped up and fought Haney to actually become undisputed, as Taylor said in the first place.
By: Bakari Simpson