Friday, June 09, 2023  |


Josh Taylor defends RING junior welterweight championship vs. Teofimo Lopez on June 10 in NYC

Photo by Shabba Shafiq/ SW33TSCIENCE photography
Fighters Network

Josh Taylor will defend his Ring Magazine junior welterweight championship against Teofimo Lopez on June 10, Top Rank officially announced during Saturday’s ESPN telecast of the Shakur Stevenson-Shuichiro Yoshino lightweight fight.

The 12-round bout will take place inside The Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City and will air live on ESPN (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT).

“This is a super fight on both sides of the pond, the junior welterweight king in Josh Taylor stepping up against the young, dynamic Teofimo Lopez,” said Top Rank chairman Bob Arum. “I cannot wait for these supreme talents to step into the Madison Square Garden ring. It’s going to be a special night.”

Taylor’s WBO world junior welterweight title will also be in play.

Known as the ‘Tartan Tornado,’ Taylor (19-0, 13 knockouts), who is originally from Edinburgh, Scotland, accumulated world title belts with wins over Ivan Baranchyk and Regis Prograis in 2019. Taylor became the Ring Magazine and undisputed champion at 140 pounds by defeating then WBC/ WBO unified titleholder Jose Ramirez in May 2021. 

In his most recent outing, on February 26 of last year, Taylor defeated Jack Catterall by split decision in a very close fight that some media and boxing insiders thought Catterall did enough to win.

Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs), who was born in Brooklyn and now lives and trains in Las Vegas, won the Ring Magazine lightweight championship by defeating Vasiliy Lomachenko in October 2020. After a handful of delays, Lopez attempted to make the first defense of the Ring Magazine belt, but lost by split decision to Australia’s George Kambosos in November 2021.

The 25-year-old, also known for his celebratory backflip after each win, moved up to 140 pounds. Lopez’s first significant fight as a junior welterweight took place on August 13, stopping Pedro Campa in the seventh round.

In his last bout on December 10, Lopez defeated Sandor Martin of Spain by split decision, which also took place at Madison Square Garden, in a very close fight that some believes Martin did enough to win.

Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]