Our resident boxing expert Rob Tebbutt is backing Josh Taylor to bounce back from his controversial victory over Jack Catterall last year with an emphatic triumph over Teofimo Lopez at the iconic Madison Square Garden.
Just 18 months ago this was probably one of the best fights that you could make in the entire sport, but now, it’s all about who has what left!
Taylor underperformed in his last outing against Jack Catterall last year, whilst Lopez has really struggled for form since his colossal victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko a couple of years ago.
He lost all of his titles in the lightweight division to George Kambosos before very underwhelming performances against Pedro Campa and, last time out, against Sandor Martin.
I am edging towards Taylor this weekend, in fact, I am backing him to win the fight in good fashion too!
I really like the outright price of Taylor, which has gotten shorter as the weeks have gone on, but even at 10/21, that still carries appeal for me.
He just looks to really have the bit between his teeth as we close in on fight night, and I feel that Lopez, with all of his trash-talking, is just going down the wrong route with Taylor.
You can see the fire back in his belly after that unflattering performance, and victory, over Catterall, and as a consequence of that, I am looking towards a stoppage victory in the second half of the fight (Between Rounds 7 – 12), which is priced up at 15/4.
I feel that his superior size, the additional weight and his ability to fight up close, in the pocket will be of a huge benefit to him this weekend.
We saw Lopez hit Kambosos with everything when they fought and struggle when the Australian came back at him, and I feel he will struggle to hold Taylor off.
But having said that Lopez has previously proven that he is a mercurial talent – he will carry power early on, he has good punching power with the right hand and his left hook, and who knows he could catch Taylor cold!
Taylor hasn’t been in the ring since that controversial fight with Catterall 15 months ago, and we know that he can struggle to make the weight at 140lbs.
There’s no doubt that Lopez will be dangerous early on, so if you fancy the American to land a devastating knockout blow then I’d definitely be looking at the massive 16/1 on offer for him to prevail ‘Between Rounds 1 - 6’.
For me though, and I know this is a bit of a short-odds play, but I really do like the look of Taylor outright at 10/21, and I also like the look of the 15/4 on offer for him to win by stoppage ‘Between Rounds 7 - 12’.
I favour the natural size of him, and the fact that under the guidance of Joe McNally and Declan O’Rourke, he looks to have that famous Scottish fire back in his belly.
Round Group Betting (4)
Josh Taylor to win in rounds 1 - 6
Was 9/1 >> Now 10/1
Fight Outcome (5 Way)
Teofimo Lopez by KO, TKO or Disqualification
Was 11/2 >> Now 6/1
Boxing News’ Rob Tebbutt provides his picks for four of this weekend’s biggest bouts, including Sunny Edwards’ IBF flyweight showdown with Andres Campos in London.
Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.