Boxing

Josh Taylor lights up Teo Lopez: “That little rat Teofimo…is so desperate it’s unreal!”

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Image for Josh Taylor lights up Teo Lopez: “That little rat Teofimo…is so desperate it’s unreal!”

Saturday evening, when WBC/WBA/WBO super middleweight champ Saul “Canelo” Alvarez stopped IBF titlist Caleb Plant to become the first undisputed 168 lb. champ of the 4-belt era, Josh Taylor– another 4-belt unified champ– welcomed him to the exclusive club.

What Taylor, the unified junior welterweight champ, didn’t appreciate, though, was lightweight kingpin Teofimo Lopez wedging himself into the post-fight glory.

The always boisterous Lopez would join Alvarez up on the stage in Las Vegas, showcasing all of his belts as Alvarez displayed all of his. The intent, obviously, was to claim membership in that exclusive “undisputed” club.

However, many do dispute Lopez’s undisputed status. They point to the fact that Devin Haney currently holds the officially recognized WBC lightweight title and that the belt Lopez won from Vasiliy Lomachenko back in October of 2020 was, actually, the WBC Franchise belt.

“That little Rat Teofimo parading in on Canelo’s [photo op] with his Mickey Mouse WBC [belt] What a f****ing brass neck. Embarrassing! The guy is so desperate it’s unreal. There are only two undisputed champs with ALL the belts. FACT! Thank you, goodnight,” Taylor wrote on his verified Twitter account.

“1 undisputed 1 disputed,” he later added, throwing the caption over a picture of Lopez posing with his belts alongside Alvarez.

Although there’s a case to be made that Lopez is not the undisputed, unified champ at 135, there’s also a case to be made that he is.

Haney only holds the WBC belt because Lomachenko was elevated to Franchise champ status by the sanctioning body. Lomachenko never lost the actual WBC title, it was simply vacated. Interim champ, Haney, then got elevated to full champ status.

But Taylor clearly has a beef with Lopez, so there is no debate in his mind.

“He’s an absolute clown,” Taylor told iFL TV, referring to Teofimo. “Saying I’m scared. Why would I be scared to fight him? If the fight happens, I’ll happily slap him and bring him back down to earth.

“It’s a fact that he’s not undisputed,” said Taylor added. “The WBC belt belongs to Devin Haney, he’s got the belt. How can you have three of the belts and the Franchise belt and call yourself undisputed champion when you haven’t fought for the undisputed title?”

“So it’s a fact that he’s not the undisputed champion, and stop calling himself the undisputed champion because he’s f***** embarrassing himself.

The undefeated 4-belt champ from Scotland has even been casting some shade on Lopez’s victory over Lomachenko, making the case that Lomachenko was injured coming into that fight and claiming that Lopez is afraid to rematch a healthy Vasiliy.”

“I think he’s scared of the rematch with Loma because he knows he fought an injured Lomachenko,” Taylor said in an interview with FightHype.com. “I think Lomachenko firing on all cylinders beats him.”

“He performed well and got the tactics right. He got the game plan perfect on the night, and he done it well. I just think Lomachenko was a little bit injured, and he also started a little bit too late. Once he got started, Lopez was on the back foot and really struggling. I think in the rematch, Loma goes earlier and wins that fight.”

Taylor and Lopez are rumored to be on a collision course for next year as Lopez reportedly plans to move up to junior welterweight after his upcoming title defense against George Kambosos Jr. on November 27. Then, the two proud battlers will be able to move their beef from social media to the ring.

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Paul Magno has over forty years of experience in and around the sport of boxing and has had his hand in everything, from officiating to training. As a writer, his work has appeared in several online publications, including Yahoo Sports, Fox Sports, FightHype, Max Boxing, Boxing.com, Inside Fights, The Boxing Tribune, The Queensberry Rules, and Premier Boxing Champions. You can reach him at: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com