Taylor vs Lopez predictions: Taylor tipped to take out Lopez
Josh Taylor returns to the ring this weekend as he defends his WBO super-lightweight title against former undisputed lightweight world champion Teofimo Lopez.
Taylor is a former undisputed champion having previously unified the super-lightweight division but he had to vacate three of those belts and is now only in possession of the WBO strap.
The showdown will take place at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York and both fighters enter the contest with a point to prove.
Taylor has 19 wins in as many fights (13 KOs).
Four of the Scot's last five fights have gone the distance.
Lopez has one defeat on his record, a split decision loss to George Kambosos Jr.
Taylor has a two-inch height advantage and a one-inch reach advantage.
He is looking for redemption in New York on Saturday. The Tartan Tornado was last seen in February 2022 as he claimed a split-decision win over Jack Catterall.
Most observers felt Catterall had done enough to win and claim Taylor’s titles but the judges saw it differently — and a potential rematch with the Englishman could still be on the cards at some point.
Taylor has since admitted he struggled to make the weight for that clash in Glasgow but has opted not to step up in class, while Lopez is making his second appearance at super-lightweight.
The Brooklyn native was one of boxing’s biggest rising stars earlier in his career and has a win over Vasiliy Lomachenko on his CV.
But he followed up that victory with a defeat to Kambosos in the first defence of his unified lightweight championship and was arguably lucky to get the decision against relative unknown Sandor Martin in his last fight in December.
This is a tough fight to call when taking into account both of these fighters’ most recent bouts.
But if Taylor is able to rediscover his best form, he should be able to come through this test.
He was rated as one of the best pound-for-pound active boxers prior to his contentious win over Catterall and The Ring still have him at seven on that list.
The southpaw has both a height and reach advantage over Lopez and is clearly the more polished of these two fighters.
Lopez likes to set up power shots using his jab. If Taylor can replicate the aggressive performances he showed against the likes of Regis Prograis and Jose Ramirez, it will be hard for his opponent to create those opportunities to unload.
Should the best version of Taylor enter the ring on Saturday, he is likely to win fairly comfortably.
Bt a stoppage looks unlikely as Lopez has never been knocked out, while four of Taylor's last five fights have gone the distance.