Teofimo Lopez has responded to Josh Taylor saying that ‘he’s got unfinished business’ as their rivalry continues to boil over ahead of a potential super-fight at some point later this year.
In October, Lopez (16-0, 12 KO’s) outpointed former three-weight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko as he handed the Ukrainian his second loss in the squared circle.
The Tartan Tornado accused the American of incorrectly calling himself the undisputed champion as he claimed Lopez still needs to beat WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney, who fights Jorge Linares in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Taylor said: “He’s saying he’s undisputed champion and he’s not – he’s still got the other belt to win.
“He’s got to beat Devin Haney to win the other belt, so he’s got unfinished business at lightweight to do.”
Lopez Jr has retaliated by saying that Taylor is running ‘scared’ from him as the Scotsman is targeting a mega clash with Terence Crawford instead.
“They’re scared, that’s how I look at it,” Lopez said (via East Side Boxing).”They know that I’m too fast, too smart, too sharp and I’m too strong.
“He’d rather go up to 147 because he’ll be the lighter guy, he’ll be quicker on his feet, and he’ll be able to handle himself more at 147.”
“I ain’t stupid, I see how the game go,” he added. “But eventually, they’re going to have to feel that pressure, and I’m going to come at them too.
“‘Loma’ [Vasyl Lomachenko] was the most technical fighter and I outboxed him.
“What does Josh Taylor bring to the table? He brings my belts, that’s all he does.”
Taylor recently became Britain’s first undisputed world champion in the four-belt era by defeating Jose Ramirez by unanimous decision in a thrilling back-and-forth unification bout on Sunday at the Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas.
But Lopez wasn’t particularly impressed by his performance as he believes he still has holes in his game.
He continued: “Josh came forward too; he did the clinches [with Jose Ramirez].
“Ya’ll [sic] don’t smell it, but I do. I smell fear in all of those guys. I can see it in their face, and I can see it in their teams. They feel that pressure. I’m young, but I’m ready.
“Yeah, he’s over here saying I’ve got unfinished business at 135 when in reality I cleaned up the whole division.”
However, Lopez did admit that boxing fans may have to wait a while before the two go toe-to-toe in the ring.
“I see it like this,” he concluded. “I can’t go out with [George] Kambosos and move up to 140.
“Even if I did, that would be with Taylor, but he has his mandatory with this guy [Jack] Catterall, and that’s it.
“I’ve got to finish with somebody at 135 clean.”