By: Sean Crose
Former lightweight champion turned junior welterweight contender Teofimo Lopez had a few choice words to say to Punch Drunk Boxing. “I want to kill Josh Taylor,” he claimed. Taylor will be defending his WBO junior welterweight crown when he squares off against Lopez next month at Madison Square Garden in New York. It’s an intriguing fight to be sure, one well worth looking forward to. Although it’s doubtful Lopez aims to kill anyone, his comment has drawn attention – which may be what the hard hitting New Yorker intended the entire time.
The 18-1 Lopez, never one to shirk away from attention, clearly isn’t interested in coming across as temperate or mild mannered in the lead up to his June 10th showdown with 18-0 Englishman Taylor. “This is what we sign up for, ” he continued. “You gonna probably lose your life. What does that mean? If I’m gonna die in that ring, at least I died for some dignity and integrity. I went out there like a warrior, like the champ that we are. That’s what I know, that’s what I signed up for. Boxing today is the gladiator days back then. A lot of people don’t know that, because they don’t know boxing.”
Lopez surprised a lot of people when he lifted the majority of lightweight titles from around the waist of Vasyl Lomachenko back in 2020. Since that time, however, the man hasn’t looked particularly impressive in the ring. He lost his belt George Kambosos in his first defense and has gone on from there to best the likes of Pedro Campa and Sandor Martin, the man who retired Mikey Garcia. Although no one would call Campa or Martin slouches, there’s no doubt Lopez’ career as quieted down a bit since the man’s big win over Lomachenko close to three years ago. Until, that is, he stated he wanted to kill Taylor.
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