Teofimo Lopez is thisclose to locking in a title fight…
The 25-year-old Honduran American boxer and former lightweight champion and Josh Taylor are closing in on a deal for a junior welterweight title fight this summer in the U.K., according to ESPN.
The 140-pound fight could land at the 20,000-plus seat Easter Road in Edinburgh, Scotland, sources said, with May 27 and June 3 the dates being targeted.
Taylor, who is a star in his native Scotland, has competed at home for the majority of his fights. Lopez has never competed outside the U.S.
Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) had been set to meet Jack Catterall in a rematch on March 4, but the bout was postponed after Taylor tore a plantar fascia last month. The 32-year-old champion said he would be able to resume training in approximately six to eight weeks.
Taylor defended his undisputed championship against Catterall last February in Scotland and emerged with a split-decision victory, but the judging was marred in controversy. Now, Catterall will probably have to wait for his chance to set the record straight.
Taylor and Lopez have been on a collision course for years as they’ve traded insults. Most recently, Lopez vowed to knock Taylor out before he scored a controversial split-decision win over Sandor Martin in December.
“I’d tear him up, from the body to the head, he’s not going to know which one I’m going to hurt him with,” Lopez, who fights out of Las Vegas, told Sky Sports in December. “A lot of people would like to see me take on Josh Taylor, and I’ve been calling him out.
“Especially to do it out there in the U.K., I really want to experience that. … I actually will put him down better than what Catterall did. He won’t come back up, that’s all I can tell you.”
Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) captured the undisputed lightweight championship with a decision victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko in October 2020.
In ESPN‘s 2021 Upset of the Year, Lopez lost his titles to George Kambosos. Afterward, Lopez moved up to 140 pounds, where he has now competed twice. Lopez is rated No. 10 at junior welterweight by ESPN.
Taylor is ESPN’s No. 2 junior welterweight. After the Catterall fight, he vacated three of his four titles to pursue the rematch (and avoid the mandatory obligations with various No. 1 contenders that would block the return bout).
But following various attempts to schedule the rematch, it appears Taylor is ready to move on, at least for now.
The matchup with Lopez is genuinely a marquee fight both across the pond and stateside. It’s also one Taylor is ultra-confident he’ll win.
“He is a very good, very skilled fighter, but I do believe that on my night I take him to bits,” Taylor told Sky Sports in December. “He’s a bit of a clown. He seems to look past his opponents all the time. It’s twice he’s made the same mistake and almost paid the price for it again.
“He thinks he’s God’s gift, and then he comes crashing back down to Earth with a bang. … Let’s not forget, he did very well to beat Lomachenko, but he beat a small, injured lightweight that really could make featherweight.”
Taylor first must fully recover from yet another injury. The plantar fascia connects the heel bone to the toes to create the arch of the foot, and it’s considered a highly painful injury.
Taylor and Lopez were both on ESPN’s pound-for-pound list at the same time before Lopez’s loss to Kambosos. Taylor, too, dropped off the list after the performance vs. Catterall.
Taylor’s impressive resume includes wins over Jose Ramirez and Regis Prograis.
Catterall, meanwhile, is slated to return March 25 in Manchester, Boxxer announced, but no opponent has been finalized.