WBO super-lightweight world champion Josh Taylor (19-0, 13KOs) feels that former unified world lightweight champion and his next opponent, Teofimo Lopez (18-1, 13KOs), is mentally weak as the pair prepare for their contest scheduled for June 10th at the theatre, Madison Square Garden, NY.
Taylor- Lopez was announced live on ESPN last Saturday during the broadcast between Shakur Stevenson and Shuichiro Yoshino. An in-person interview and announcement were scheduled; however, Lopez did not appear in person during the broadcast but instead chose to appear via video link.
When speaking to Sky Sports, Taylor feels he is already winning the battle of the mind games due to Lopez’s in-person no-show.
“I’ve come over here to say hello to him, and he’s went away hiding,” Taylor told Sky Sports.
“I flew over halfway across the world to come say hello to him and pull him up really. See what are you going to say, what time is it? But he’s not here. He’s not showed up. He’s got no backside.
“He can’t hide too much longer. We’ve got eight, nine weeks left, I’ll just have to wait till then or when the press conference is.”
Taylor continues to elaborate that he believes that Lopez’s “bravado” is another indicator that Lopez is mentally weak. Lopez has not shied away from discussing his issues previously and publicly admitting that he has struggled and even considered his position in the sport.
“A little bit of bravado, a sort of front and then you see the fragility of him on camera in his last couple of fights,” Taylor said.
“So you can see he’s a little bit fragile and a little bit mentally weak. So I can definitely use that to my advantage.”
Questions, however, remain regarding Lopez’s last outing in December against Sandor Martin, where he produced a lack-lustre showing and suffered a knockdown to ultimately claim a split decision points win. Taylor feels that Lopez puts too much pressure on himself, and so does Teofimo’s father.
“He might be doubting himself, maybe thinking I’m not as good as I thought I was or as big and strong as I thought I was. Putting a lot of pressure on himself by talking so much nonsense that he talks, him and his dad.
“Putting a lot of pressure on his own shoulders. So I think that’s maybe got to him a bit in recent times.
“I do think he’s a little bit fragile mentally sometimes. Yes I do.”
Taylor is still expecting the best version of Lopez when he finally gets in the ring with his adversary on June 10th.
“I am preparing for the best version of Teofimo Lopez and the best version of Teofimo Lopez is a very good fighter,” Taylor said.
“I’m preparing for a hard 12 rounds as always, I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to coming in there and facing the version that beat Lomachenko and that version is a very good Teofimo Lopez.”