By: Hans Themistode
A euphoric feeling immediately swept over Josh Taylor last night. The 30-year-old Scotland native packed up his bags, kissed his family and friends goodbye and headed to America to take on Jose Ramirez in an undisputed title fight at the Virgins Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The time away from his loved ones paid off as Taylor dropped Ramirez twice en route to becoming undisputed at 140 pounds. While most of the boxing world watched for entertainment, Teofimo Lopez observed from ringside with a more purposeful reason. With 135 pounds becoming increasingly difficult to make, Lopez has stated on numerous occasions that he fully intends on moving up in weight to challenge the winner of last night’s showdown to become a two-time undisputed champion.
Having taken care of business against all comers, Taylor has no issue with facing Lopez. But, first things first, he believes the young star has one thing left to do in his current weight class.
“He’s got to take care of business at lightweight and actually become undisputed at lightweight first,” said Taylor during an interview with FightHype.com.
From the moment Lopez defeated Vasiliy Lomachenko in October of 2020, massive confusion has ensued. When the two faced off in The Bubble at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada, Lopez held the IBF 135 pound title. As for Lomachenko, he was in possession of the Ring Magazine, WBA, WBO and WBC “Franchise” titles.
Shortly after winning the WBC belt from Luke Campbell in August of 2019, then interim titlist Devin Haney attempted to pursue a showdown with Lomachenko. With the Ukrainian more interested in facing Lopez, Mauricio Sulaiman, President of the WBC sanctioning body, stripped Lomachenko of his world title and instead, created the ever confusing “Franchise” tag. In turn, Haney became the full belt holder.
Despite the perplexity of the situation, Lopez has continued to claim that he is the undisputed lightweight champion. In the mind of Taylor, however, he simply isn’t.
“He’s a great fighter,” continued Taylor. “Great talent but he’s got some stuff to do at lightweight.”
With a showdown against Lopez seemingly off the table for now, Taylor isn’t interested in naming anyone who could be possibly next for him.
After traveling to America mostly by his lonesome due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in the UK, Taylor merely wants to rest. Although he’s ecstatic about becoming an undisputed champion, he won’t allow himself to get complacent. Considering his name is unquestionably at the top of the division, he’s fully aware that he’ll have to take his training methods to a whole other level.
“All the years of hard work and dedication have paid off. I’m at the top now but I have a big target on my big. The hard work continues.”
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