There has been a lot of bad blood in the build up to the fight. Taylor infamously walked out of an interview with Lopez, leaving the American sniggering in a battle of mind games.
Thereafter, Lopez was involved in a swarm of controversy after he vowed to ‘take Josh Taylor’s life’ and then refused to apologize for his remarks. Victory for either fighter will be key, as it will go some way to silencing the critics.
#TaylorLopez is an interesting one isn't it!
The bookmakers (over in the UK) has Taylor a favourite:
Taylor – 4/7
Lopez – 8/5
Who do you think wins? pic.twitter.com/7EqagId92H
— Fightnight Scores (@fight_scores) June 7, 2023
Taylor’s last victory over was Jack Catterall, which was contentious to say the least, with the vast majority of the boxing public believing that he came second best.
Meanwhile, Lopez has not looked the same since his loss to George Kambosos Jr. Despite beating Sandor Martin in his previous fight, the performance was nothing to write home about.
And yet, a poll by Ring Magazine concluded that all 21 of their experts picked Taylor to win. Here were the reactions of some of them.
“I think Lopez is mentally weak. He asked after his last fight if he still has it. I think Taylor is going to capitalize on that. I think Taylor is mentally strong but I don’t know how much he has left in the tank; it seems like he’s fading.
“You hear a bunch of rumors about him in the UK and, as far as Lopez, Lopez does have the style to beat Taylor but I just don’t think he’s going to beat Taylor.
“I definitely feel like Taylor is going to win. I don’t even feel like it’s going to be close. For me, I think it’s going to lopsided for Taylor,” Regis Prograis
“I think the aggression, work rate, pressure Taylor puts on Teo, he’s going to put him in the hot seat. Now if Teo can’t hurt Taylor, that’s going to be bad news for him. Taylor can punch, a ton of mental toughness, grit and skill on top of that and he’s a winner.
“Teo is inconsistent at 140 and we never know what his mental state is. I’ve always told him this: If you’re 100-percent, mentally, nobody can beat you.
“He’s that gifted but his last two appearances weren’t that great. I like Taylor. I think Taylor could get a stoppage,” Tim Bradley
“It’s a very good fight. At the moment, you’ve got to give the edge to Josh Tyler. He’s the naturally bigger fighter, 140 pounder, and he’s proven himself,” Kambosos
And yet, Lopez’s mindset suggests that he is already looking past Taylor. Victory for him would put his name alongside the other big names in the division, including Rolando Romero.
The latter is the WBA title holder following his controversial-stoppage win over Ismael Barroso. And that is someone who Lopez has already targeted next.
“I told Rolly, ‘Hey, you know, you’re fighting for the title. I’m gonna end up having to fight you.’ So, yeah, there’s no bad blood.’
“I got no bad blood. you’re in my division, you hold the WBA super world title, and if people are claiming that I’m not going to be undisputed or two-time undisputed with this fight, you either let go of the belt or we you’re in my way.
“You’re in the way of my greatness,” Lopez