Teofimo Lopez Finalizing Deal to Defend WBO Junior Welterweight Title Against Steve Claggett

Teofimo Lopez is readying for a hot box summer…

The 26-year-old Honduran American boxer, who has held multiple world championships in two weight classes, is finalizing a deal to fight Steve Claggett for Lopez’s WBO junior welterweight title on June 29 in Miami, per ESPN.

Teofimo LopezThe 140-pound title fight will headline Top Rank Boxing on ESPN.

Lopez (20-1, 13 KOs) made the first defense of his title during Super Bowl Week in February when he defeated Jamaine Ortiz via unanimous decision. The fight was ugly, with boos raining down at the Las Vegas venue as Ortiz used his box-and-move style to frustrate Lopez, who had trouble cutting off the ring.

Lopez complained about Ortiz’s style and now will face a Canadian brawler, a fighter he’ll have no trouble finding in the ring. And Lopez will return to South Florida, where he grew up.

ESPN’s No. 2 junior welterweight, Lopez is the former undisputed lightweight champion. He defeated future Boxing Hall of Famer Vasiliy Lomachenko in October 2020 to unify 135-pound belts and crash the pound-for-pound list. But in his first defense, he lost to George Kambosos in November 2021 in ESPN‘s Upset of the Year.

Lopez subsequently moved up to 140 pounds and following two wins, he defeated Josh Taylor in June for the lineal junior welterweight championship.

Claggett (38-7-2, 26 KOs) is a 34-year-old from Calgary who will be fighting on the world-class level for the first time. He has won nine straight fights since a decision loss to fellow Canadian-level fighter Mathieu Germain in May 2021.

Claggett is currently scheduled to fight Mike Ohan Jr. in a 10-round bout April 11 in Montreal, but that matchup won’t take place now that he’s fighting Lopez, sources said.

The bout will be Claggett’s first title shot, where he’ll be installed as a major underdog.

Former featherweight champion Robeisy Ramirez will compete in the co-feature, sources said. Ramirez lost his title via majority decision to Rafael Espinoza in December in ESPN’s 2023 Upset of the Year.

Teofimo Lopez Defeats Jamaine Ortiz by Unanimous Decision to Retain WBO Junior Welterweight Title

Teofimo Lopez is still the champ…

In what ESPN has called “an uneventful junior welterweight title” bout in Las Vegas on Thursday, the 26-year-old Honduran American professional boxer defeated Jamaine Ortiz by unanimous-decision.

Teofimo LopezLopez (20-1, 13 KOs) prevailed via scores of 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113. And while he retained his WBO title at 140 pounds, he failed to put on a show and was frustrated once again by a slick southpaw boxer.

“These fighters don’t want to come and fight,” said Lopez, ESPN‘s No. 1 junior welterweight. “If you ain’t ready for this life, get the f— out of my sport. I am a champion. I bleed for this and I sweat for this and I cry for this. Every time.”

Neither boxer landed many shots — 78 for Lopez and 80 for Ortiz. Ortiz’s rangy jab gave Lopez fits, and each time the champion closed the distance, Ortiz (17-2-1, 8 KOs) would reset and refused to engage. The strategy was effective even if it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing.

Although Ortiz didn’t want to exchange, Lopez didn’t do himself any favors with his own strategy. Lopez mostly threw one punch at a time, followed Ortiz rather than cut off the ring and didn’t target the body.

This wasn’t new territory for Lopez. When he faced Sandor Martin, another slick southpaw, in December 2022, Lopez again failed to cut off the ring and was on the winning end of a disputed decision.

After that fight, Lopez was caught asking his father and trainer: “Do I still got it?”

The answer was a resounding yes after the way he dominated Josh Taylor in June to become a two-division champion. However, Lopez showed Thursday night that he didn’t learn much from the Martin performance; adjustments weren’t made this time around, either.

“It’s not a repeat because I still got it,” Lopez said. “Don’t tell me it’s Sandor Martin Part 2.”

Ortiz gained recognition when he pushed Vasiliy Lomachenko in a competitive decision loss in October 2022. But just like he did against Lomachenko, Ortiz faded down the stretch.

Lopez swept the final three rounds to pull out the win Thursday. If Ortiz had won one of those three rounds on two of the cards, the fight would have ended in a draw.

“I believe I won the fight,” said Ortiz, ESPN’s No. 8 lightweight, who moved up to 140 pounds for his first title shot. “What can I say, I came out on the short end of the stick once again. He couldn’t hit me. … He wasn’t landing any shots on me. … I always stay true to who I am. … Make some adjustments and come back for another title shot.”

Ortiz suffered a serious cut over his left eye from a clash of heads in Round 7, but his corner was able to quickly keep the bleeding under control. And while his jab and footwork were impressive, there weren’t any moments that stood out to judges.

With Lopez pressing forward, even if it was ineffective aggression, it seemed to win over the judges down the stretch.

The victory nets Lopez his first junior welterweight title defense. One of boxing’s rising stars, Lopez captured the undisputed lightweight championship when he upset Lomachenko in October 2020.

But he lost the titles in his first defense, a decision defeat to George Kambosos in ESPN‘s 2021 Upset of the Year.

Jose Ramirez Signs Multi-Fight Deal with Golden Boy Promotions

Jose Ramirez is entering his Golden era….

The 31-year-old Mexican American former unified junior welterweight titlist has signed a multi-fight deal with Golden Boy Promotions.

Jose RamirezThe newly formed deal was announced during the Vergil OrtizFredrick Lawson DAZN broadcast from Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

“I’m ready to be a two-time world champion, and do it right now as well as stay active this year,” said Ramirez. “I felt Oscar [de la Hoya] and Golden Boy could deliver both immediately as well as some big fights at this point in my career that I want. This is the most motivated I have been since I turned pro.”

Ramirez and Ortiz are both managed by Rick Mirigian, who also recently brought over Arnold Barboza to the Golden Boy family. Barboza won via technical knockout after nine rounds in his Golden Boy debut Saturday evening.

“We know our value, and had to get a plan,” said Mirigian. “Golden Boy stepped up and showed that Jose would be a priority to them with the deal he was given. The fights that can now be made at 140 in house are among the best in all of the sport, as Golden Boy has now taken a strong hold on the most exciting division in boxing.”

Terms of the deal were not revealed. Boxing Scene reports that Ramirez could potentially challenge for the WBA junior welterweight title within his next couple of fights, depending on how the process plays out regarding current beltholder Rolando Romero and whether he next defends against the interim titlist.

Regardless, it’s a fresh start for Ramirez (28-1, 18KOs), who fought just once in each of the past four years.

An eleventh-round knockout of Richard Commey last March 25 in Fresno, California—the heart of Ramirez’s fan base as he hails from nearby Avenal—marked the final fight of his near 12-year-run with Top Rank. Ramirez signed with the Las Vegas-based outlet shortly after he represented the U.S. during the 2012 London Olympics.

During that time, Ramirez emerged as a sizeable draw in California’s Central Valley and won the WBC and WBO titles at junior welterweight. He came up just short versus then-unbeaten Josh Taylor in their May 2022 undisputed championship clash at Virgin Hotels, where he was in attendance on Saturday to confirm his new promotional deal.

In between the Taylor loss and Saturday’s news came just two ring appearances and a number of opportunities left on the table for various reasons. He eventually broke from Top Rank after his team could not reach terms for an offered shot at two-division lineal and current WBO junior welterweight champ Teofimo Lopez, who’ll instead face Jamaine Ortiz atop a February 8 ESPN show from Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.

All signs, however, point to a more optimistic future.

“An Olympic pedigree. An incredible resumé that features two world titles. A massive and loyal fan base — José Ramirez has it all, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Golden Boy family,” said Chairman and CEO of Golden Boy de la Hoya. “Our plan for Ramirez is simple: get him back in the ring quickly, keep him active against the best of the best and show the world that he is still among the cream of the crop in the super lightweight division.”

Details of his first fight under the Golden Boy banner are forthcoming.

Jose Pedraza’s Bout Against Keyshawn Davis Rescheduled for February 8

Jose Pedraza is preparing to fight a former champion…

The 34-year-old Puerto Rican professional boxer and former two-weight world champion’s lightweight bout versus Keyshawn Davis has been rescheduled for February 8 in Las Vegas, sources told ESPN on Friday..

Jose PedrazaThe bout will serve as the ESPN co-feature to Teofimo Lopez‘s junior welterweight title defense vs. Jamaine Ortiz.

Davis (10-0, 6 KOs) was set to meet Pedraza this past Saturday in South Florida before he was suspended 90 days by the Texas commission for a positive marijuana test following his October win over Nahir Albright.

The Olympic silver medalist from Norfolk, Va., was recently named ESPN‘s No. 3 fighter under 25 years old. Now, the 24-year-old will step up against a former champion for the first time as he looks to rise from prospect to contender.

Pedraza (29-5-1, 14 KOs) is a former two-division champion, though he’s winless in his last three bouts. All three fights took place at 140 pounds.

A draw with Richard Commey was sandwiched in between close decision losses to junior welterweight contenders Jose Ramirez and Arnold Barboza. Pedraza’s title reigns came at 130 and 135 pounds.

Pedraza last competed at 135 pounds in May 2019. Both of Pedraza’s title defeats came against the sport’s elite. He lost his 130-pound title via TKO to Gervonta Davis in 2017. The following year, Pedraza dropped his 135-pound title via decision to Vasiliy Lomachenko.

Davis is coming off the toughest fight of his career, a majority-decision victory over Albright. He’s trained by Brian McIntyre, who also guides Terence Crawford.

Teofimo Lopez Finalizing Deal to Defend WBO Junior Welterweight Against Jamaine Ortiz in February

Teofimo Lopez is thisclose to locking in his next opponent…

He 26-year-old Honduran American boxer and Jamaine Ortiz are finalizing a deal to fight for Lopez’s WBO junior welterweight title on February 8 in Las Vegas, sources told ESPN.

Teofimo LopezThe 140-pound championship bout will headline Top Rank Boxing on ESPN on a Thursday evening, three days before Super Bowl LVIII is played in the same city.

Lopez, one of boxing’s rising stars, is coming off a superb performance in June, when he dominated Josh Taylor via unanimous decision to become a two-division champion.

The triumph was a rebound of sorts for Lopez, who struggled to earn a split decision over Sandor Martin six months earlier. Taylor was the undisputed champion but vacated three of his four titles ahead of the Lopez fight.

Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) briefly claimed retirement after the victory but reversed course soon after. The 26-year-old, who fights out of Las Vegas, is ESPN‘s No. 2 boxer at 140 pounds. Lopez’s career-best performance remains his unanimous decision victory over future Hall of Famer Vasiliy Lomachenko in October 2020. Lopez went on to lose his lightweight championship to George Kambosos in ESPN’s 2021 Upset of the Year.

And it was against Lomachenko that Ortiz (17-1-1, 8 KOs) proved his capability at the top level.

The 27-year-old from Worcester, Massachusetts, was in control during the first half of the October 2022 bout — Ortiz was a 12-1 underdog — before he faded down the stretch. But before he did, he displayed his jab, strength and athleticism against an all-time great.

That performance followed his breakthrough win over former titleholder Jamel Herring earlier that year. Now, Ortiz will move up to 140 pounds for his first world title shot. And it comes against a fighter with whom he shares a history.

It was Lopez who defeated Ortiz in the 2015 National Golden Gloves Quarterfinal. Nearly 10 years later, they meet again with far greater stakes.

“I was impressed by Ortiz, really,” Lopez told Fight Hub after the Ortiz-Lomachenko bout. “I think overall Jamaine Ortiz is still seasoned enough to give everybody else bigger and better fights as well.”

Jorge Linares to Fight Jack Catterall in October

Jorge Linares has lined up his next opponent…

The 37-year-old Venezuelan professional boxer, a former three-division champion, will fight Jack Catterall, ESPN‘s No. 1 junior welterweight, on October 21 in Liverpool, England, Matchroom Boxing has announced.

Jorge Linares

Catterall dropped a controversial split decision to Josh Taylor in February 2022 in a bid for the undisputed 140-pound championship. Following several postponements of the rematch, Taylor moved on to a summer bout with Teofimo Lopez, while Catterall signed with Eddie Hearn‘s Matchroom.

“It is an honor to share a ring with Jorge Linares,” Catterall said. “I’ve watched him come over to the U.K. on three occasions and win three times. He is a legend of the game and this is a must-win fight for the both of us for very different reasons.

“There is talk of a huge fight for me after this, but it’ll count for nothing if I take my eye off the ball — which I can’t afford to do at this stage of my career. It’s no secret my career has lacked momentum, so after boxing in May and now October, I genuinely believe you’ll see the best version of me on October 21.”

That “huge fight” Catterall mentioned is the rematch with Taylor. There have been discussions for a Catterall-Taylor encore targeted for late 2023 or early 2024, sources told ESPN. Taylor is set to campaign at welterweight after he lost his title to Lopez, but Catterall is willing to meet him in between 140 and 147 pounds, sources said.

But first, Catterall (27-1, 13 KOs) will need to come out victorious against the second-toughest opponent of his career.

Linares (47-8, 29 KOs) has captured titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, but at 37, the Venezuelan boxer has lost three consecutive fights. Linares was competitive in a decision defeat to Devin Haney in May 2021.

Afterward, Linares fought twice in Russia: a 12th-round TKO loss to Zaur Abdullaev and a decision setback vs. Zhora Hamazaryan in December.

“October 21 I’m back in the UK,” said Linares. “I’m full of emotion and ready to give everybody a spectacular performance against a tremendous opponent, Jack Catterall.

“I just want everyone to know that I’m ready to give Jack a great boxing lesson and to continue making history in the U.K.”

William Silva to Fight Teen Boxing Prospect Ashton Sylve in August

William Silva is taking on a rising boxing star…

The 36-year-old Brazilian boxer will fight Ashton Sylve, the teen boxing prospect under Jake Paul‘s promotional banner, this summer.

William Silva,Sylve, the undefeated, 19-year-old rising star, will face William Silva, a 34-fight veteran, on August 5 in Dallas on the undercard of the Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz event.

The fight is contracted for eight rounds at 135 pounds. Silva has just four career losses, two of them against top fighters Teofimo Lopez and Arnold Barboza Jr.

Sylve (9-0, 8 KOs), who is promoted by Paul’s Most Valuable Promotions, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Adam Kipenga on Paul’s first Most Valuable Prospects card May 26. Sylve, a Long Beach, California native, was ESPN Ringside‘s 2022 Prospect of the Year and has an illustrious amateur record.

Silva (30-4, 18 KOs) has won two straight via finish after falling to Cletus Seldin in October 2021. He lives and trains in Florida and has won five of his past seven fights. Silva is promoted by Reyes Boxing and Fire Fist Promotions.

“Ashton continues to impress and entertain at such a young age and will bring his unique combination of knockout power and agility to the ring on Aug. 5,” Most Valuable Promotions co-founder Nakisa Bidarian said in a statement. “This fight represents his toughest test to date against a battle-tested and dangerous Silva, who has only lost to some of the best fighters in the game.”

The Paul vs. Diaz semi-main event pits women’s boxing undisputed featherweight champion Amanda Serrano against Heather Hardy. Also on the undercard, longtime Diaz teammate and MMA veteran Chris Avila will face Jeremy Stephens, a longtime UFC knockout artist.

Regis Prograis Defeats Danielito Zorrilla to Defend His WBC Junior Welterweight Title

It wasn’t his best showing, but Regis Prograis has successfully defended his title…

The 34-year-old half-Hispanic American boxer successfully defended his WBC junior welterweight title by defeating Danielito Zorrilla by split decision on Saturday night at the Smoothie King Center.

Regis PrograisPrograis won on two cards 118-109 and 117-110 while one scorecard went Zorrilla’s way 114-113.

Prograis (29-1, 25 KO) was honest about his performance and felt he could have put on a better show for the local crowd.

“My performance was s—. I can admit to myself it wasn’t a good performance,” Prograis said. “The last two days, I felt the hometown jitters. The hometown fights, they are the worst. I felt it going into it yesterday into today. I got the job done. I kept the belt. I’m happy about that, but I’m definitely not happy about my performance.”

Zorrilla (17-2, 13 KO) took the fight on less than a month’s notice as he was a late replacement for undefeated Australian fighter Liam Paro, who pulled out of the bout with an injury.

Following the fight, Prograis sat with Matchroom boxing promoter Eddie Hearn as the two spoke with reporters about what options could be next at 140 pounds. Bill Haney, Devin Haney‘s father, was in attendance on Saturday but Hearn said there are plenty of options for Prograis’ next fight.

Hearn mentioned Haney, Teofimo Lopez and Gervonta Davis as all great fights that could be made for Prograis.

“For me, it’s up to Regis,” Hearn said. “I mean, I think the great thing about tonight is there’s going to be a lot of people queuing up to fight. I’ve not heard any of those big names mention Regis’ name before tonight, other than Devin. But now I think you’re going to see people actually target Regis Prograis that he might be beatable now.

“Which we know, there’s a completely different performance to come from Regis Prograis. I think that’s the one thing that I’m happy about and I believe Devin wants that fight.”

It was the first successful title defense of Prograis’ career. After winning the WBA title at 140 pounds from Kiryl Relikh in 2019, Prograis dropped the belt in a majority decision to Josh Taylor later that year. It remains the only loss of his career.

This time, Prograis defended his crown.

In the third round, Prograis dropped Zorrilla with a left hand and started to build on that momentum the rest of the fight. However, that quickly went away as the two danced and plotted on each other for the remainder of the fight.

“He came to survive,” Prograis said about Zorrilla. “He didn’t want to get knocked out. He came to survive. I was chasing him. I just had to chase him for 12 rounds.”

Prograis went to the mat three times but none were ruled knockdowns by referee Ray Corona. In the first round, Zorrilla stunned Prograis with a right knocking him off balance, and both men went to the ground as Prograis tried to clutch with Zorrilla falling into the champion. However, it was ruled as a push. In the 10th round, Prograis’ fall was called a slip and then he again touched the mat in the 12th on a push.

He admitted after the fight that he felt the first-round fall didn’t feel like a knockdown in the moment but looking back at the replay, it could have been.

This was the first major championship fight inside the Smoothie King Center since 2000 when undisputed light heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. defeated Eric Harding at what was then called New Orleans Arena (Derrick Gainer also defeated Freddie Norwood for the WBA featherweight title on the same card).

It was the third card that Prograis has headlined in New Orleans. His previous two fights were at the Lakefront Arena on the campus of the University of New Orleans.

New Orleans rap duo Fresh X Reckless performed during Prograis’ walk as he put his own flair on the entrance with a 10-foot Rougarou — Prograis’ nickname and a werewolf-like monster from local folklore — following him.

However, because of those “hometown jitters” Prograis mentioned, there’s a good chance his next fight won’t be in the city.

“I don’t think next time,” Prograis said. “We’ll probably go on the road and then come back here down the line. But not next fight.”

Hearn said there are opportunities for Prograis that could be in Las Vegas or the Middle East for his next fight.

Teofimo Lopez to Fight Josh Taylor for WBO Junior Welterweight Title

Teofimo Lopez will be fighting for another title…

The 25-year-old Honduran American professional boxer has agreed to fight Josh Taylor for Taylor’s WBO junior welterweight title on June 10 in New York on ESPN/ESPN+.

Teofimo Lopez Jr.The 140-pound bout, which pits the former undisputed junior welterweight champion against Lopez, the ex-undisputed lightweight champion, will take place at either Madison Square Garden (20,000-plus seats) or the Hulu Theater at MSG (approximately 5,500 capacity).

“We’re set on the fight. Teo is set on Josh Taylor like he was set on [Vasiliy] Lomachenko,” said Lopez’s manager, David McWater. “We don’t know yet, but I suspect it’s the big room. We almost sold out the big room in December for Sandor Martin.”

Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) was 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.

Boxxer, the U.K.-based promoter of the Taylor-Catterall rematch, failed to place rescheduling language in the contract, multiple sources said, which freed Taylor to move on to the Lopez bout. Boxxer spokesperson Matty Lawless tweeted that “our position at Boxxer is that we have a legally binding contract with Top Rank. Therefore we will not be making any further comment at this stage.”

“Further on down the line, Jack and me can still fight,” Taylor told Sky Sports last week. ” … This fight [vs. Lopez] is a much bigger fight than the Catterall fight … and it’s a harder fight. He is a much higher caliber of opponent. He has been at a higher level. He’s been in with better fighters. He’s done the business.”

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.

Taylor is a star in Scotland, and the matchup with Lopez was originally being explored for the U.K. Instead, Taylor will travel for his fifth fight in the U.S. His most-recent stateside was his career-best victory, a unanimous-decision win over Jose Ramirez in May 2021 to capture the undisputed championship. Taylor vacated three of his four belts to avoid mandatory challengers that would have prevented the rematch with Catterall.

“I think the Taylor side has become less enthusiastic about the rematch with Catterall,” said McWater. “For us, we were concerned about fighting over there [in the U.K.]. If we fight over there, you’ll watch it at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. It was really important to Teofimo not to do that. We want the eyeballs.

“Top Rank really listened to me this time. I think it’s a better fight over here.”

In a way, this a comeback bout for each fighter. Taylor has fought only once since he defeated Ramirez. And that victory over Catterall was one of the most controversial in years.

Lopez, among the most charismatic and talented young fighters in the game, lost the four belts he won from Lomachenko when he was defeated by George Kambosos at the Hulu Theater in ESPN’s 2021 Upset of the Year, and has been criticized for lackluster performances in his two fights at 140 pounds. His split-decision win over Sandor Martin was highly disputed.

Taylor and Lopez have been on a collision course for years as they’ve traded insults. Most recently, Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) vowed to knock Taylor out before he faced Martin.

“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.

” … 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 is rated No. 10 at junior welterweight by ESPN. Taylor is ESPN’s No. 2 junior welterweight.

Taylor must fully recover from yet another injury first. The plantar fascia connects the heel bone to the toes to create the arch of the foot, and tearing one is 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.

Teofimo Lopez in Final Talks to Fight Josh Taylor in Junior Welterweight Title Fight

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.

Teofimo LopezThe 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.