After weeks of discussing whether we would get this fight in NY or another location, the Hulu Theater at the Madison Square Garden on June 10 will host a junior welterweight title fight. WBO & Ring Magazine champ Josh Taylor (19-0) will face former unified lightweight champ Teofimo Lopez (18-1). This will be one of the most anticipated fights on the calendar, as there are many questions to be answered by both men. This premier fight will be shown live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+. Here is the release sent out by Top Rank.
Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs), “The Tartan Tornado,” is the former undisputed junior welterweight champion, having collected all four major titles in a remarkable four-fight run that included wins over Ivan Baranchyk, Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez. He debuted in the paid ranks in 2015 and captured a Commonwealth title in his second year before defeating fellow unbeaten prospect Ohara Davies via seventh-round TKO.
The 32-year-old then beat former world champions Miguel Vazquez and Viktor Postol before entering the World Boxing Super Series in 2018. Taylor stopped then-undefeated contender Ryan Martin via TKO before capturing his first world title with a decision victory over Baranchyk. His wins over Prograis and Ramirez left no doubt as to the world’s supreme 140-pound practitioner. Taylor returns more than one year after his last performance, a competitive split decision nod over Jack Catterall.
Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) is the former unified and lineal lightweight champion of the world. In December 2019, he captured the IBF title with an explosive second-round knockout of Richard Commey. The following October, he bested pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko to win the WBA, WBO, and WBC Franchise titles. Thirteen months later, he lost the belts via shocking split decision to George Kambosos Jr.
The 25-year-old then made his junior welterweight debut in August 2022 by stopping Pedro Campa in the seventh round. Last December, Lopez edged Spanish southpaw Sandor Martin by split decision. Before becoming world champion, he was the buzz of the boxing world with highlight-reel knockouts over Diego Magdaleno and Mason Menard. Lopez now has his sights set on another southpaw and hopes to become the sport’s latest two-division ruler.