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Josh Taylor-Teofimo Lopez Fight Being Finalized for May/June

The rematch between Josh Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) and Jack Catterall (26-1, 13 KOs) seems to be one of those fights that the boxing gods are not going to allow to happen. ESPN recently reported that Taylor and former unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) are closing in on finalizing a deal to fight in either May or June in the UK. At the moment it is being rumored to land at Easter Road in Edinburgh, Scotland on either May 27th or June 3rd.

Taylor and Catterall were set to run it back on Marth 4th, but Taylor suffered a torn plantar fascia that forced him to withdraw from the bout. As a result, Catterall opted to take a tune-up fight that is set for March 25th against an opponent who is yet to be announced. Taylor has not been in the ring since his fight with Catterall last February, where he was awarded a controversial split decision. Many of the media and public thought Catterall did enough to be awarded the victory, and the backlash from the scorecards forced Taylor to entertain a rematch to win more decisively.

Last time Taylor was in the ring, he was the undisputed junior welterweight champion, which is not the case anymore. Due to inactivity and him focusing on beating Catterall cleanly in a rematch, he gave up three of his four titles when he was mandated to fight mandatory challengers. He is still the WBO champion, which gives Lopez the incentive to take this fight as he can become a two-division champion with the victory.

Lopez hasn’t look as explosive and powerful as he did at lightweight since moving up. He stopped Pedro Campa in the seventh round of his 140lb debut, and then struggled on Heisman night when he won a unanimous decision over Sandor Martin (40-3, 13 KOs). Though Lopez came into that fight the massive favorite, he was knocked down and lucky to escape with the unanimous decision win. I thought Lopez edged the fight, but many people around the sport felt that Martin outboxed Teofimo.

Nothing is official as of yet, but based on ESPN’s reports, we should hear something concrete in the near future. With both men not having the momentum that they once had a few years ago, this is a huge opportunity for both, and the winner will reassert himself as a legit threat in a loaded 140lb division.

I could see current undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) moving up and facing the winner after his proposed May fight with Vasyl Lomachenko (17-2, 11 KOs). Arnold Barboza (28-0, 10 KOs) is another guy that could be in line to face the winner, as he is highly ranked in the sanctioning bodies and is deserving of a title shot.

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Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly