It turns out that the rumors of Teofimo Lopez's demise were greatly exaggerated. Over 12 rounds he masterfully boxed Josh Taylor to capture the recognized junior welterweight championship at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Yeah, he still has 'it'.
The 'takeover' might still be in effect.
“Josh Taylor is a tough dude," said Lopez. "I can see why he beat so many fighters. But you’ve got to counter the counterpuncher. You’ve got to outsmart the man and get in there. And I did that. I think I did enough.This is what it is all about."
Mikey Williams -Top Rank
Coming into the contest, many wondered with the turbulent life, and the tempermental nature of Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) if he should even be in this contest given his mental state. And to be honest, his previous two outings at 140 left questions about his effectiveness at 140.
Taylor was thought to be the safe pick (and he was the betting favorite), but truth be told he came into this bout with some questions of his own given his uneven performance versus Jack Catterall last February, and his recent lack of activity.
After a relatively even first four rounds, it was Lopez that took over the proceedings with his quick striking counter-punches, and his upper body movement that not only created an elusive target for 'the Tartan Tornado', it created openings for his own offense. You could see the confidence getting sapped from Taylor as the rounds went on, while Lopez seemed to be growing in stature.
Mikey Williams -Top Rank
"I questioned myself for a good reason. You guys don’t understand. I’ve always been my worst critic. And you guys got a little glimpse of it. But I’ve just got to ask you one thing, and one thing only. Do I still got it?," said Lopez, who was caught on camera asking this very same question after he struggled against the difficult Sandor Martin back in December.
In round eight, Lopez began to shake and shimmy in front of Taylor. He wasn't just fighting, but he was having fun in there. This was the young prodigy that blew out Richard Commey, and upset Vasiliy Lomachenko, and not the troubled young adult that was saddled with real life problems. Lopez at times would taunt Taylor, and the strut back to his corner. This was his night.
But he wasn't just gyrating in there, he also did some solid work, as he landed sharp punches throughout the night, and Lopez punctuated the night by stunning Taylor with a booming right hand in the final stanza to punctuate the night. It turns out that Lopez needed that round as the cards read 115-113 on two cards.
Mikey Williams -Top Rank
These scores do not reflect the dominance of Lopez, or the sharpness of his effort.
When his head is on straight, this is a premiere talent. The question is, this time around, can they handle prosperity?
“I’m so grateful," said a jubilant Lopez. "This was a bout fixing what we needed to."
So the morning after his big win, Lopez posted this on Instagram
Yeah, it's always something with him.
But it was a good run, boxing will miss him. (For the record, this is sarcasm.)
While a clinic was put forth by Lopez on ESPN, it was an absolute slugfest on DAZN from the Toyota Arena in Ontario, Calfornia, between Jaime Munguia and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
This knock-out-drag-out affair could've gone either way, but predictably, given that this was a Golden Boy Promotions card, it was the hard-luck Derevyanchenko coming out on the short end of the stick (114-113, 114-113 and 115-112) It turns out the difference was that 12th round knockdown scored by Munguia that was caused by a body shot to Derevyanchenko.
“I am very happy with the fight. It was a great victory, we made some mistakes but were still here undefeated,” stated Munguia.
But while Munguia's(42-0, 33 KOs) remained unblemished, you felt as though he went backwards on this night. Too many times he failed to understand what distance worked for him, and he kept running into Derevyanchenko's punches. You could argue that when Munguia was hurt badly in round five, that the fight could've justifiably have been waved off.
On the flip side though, Munguia is a fun, action fighter. Maybe we should just accept -- and perhaps, embrace who he is. Hey, the game needs flawed fighters, too.
Sunny Edwards retained his IBF flyweight title by out-pointing Andres Campos, which could set up a unification showdown against WBO belt-holder, Jesse 'Bam' Rodriguez....Xander Zayas remained undefeated as he beat Ronald Cruz over eight rounds. You wonder when/if Zayas' power will come to him as he matures physically... Bruce Carrington got some solid rounds in this weekend on the Top Rank card....If Canelo Alvarez is really going to face Badou Jack in the Middle East, is David Benavidez really going to face the danger, high-risk, David Morrell?....How long are the grey skies going to last in Southern California?....I can be reached at email@example.com.....