Josh Taylor thinks that Teofimo Lopez is “mentally unstable” and is “gone” upstairs ahead of their fight on June 10th.
The former unified lightweight champion Teo (18-1, 13 KOs) isn’t just putting on an act, trying to come off crazy for the promotion of the fight, says Taylor. He’s nutty in the clinical sense, talking about wanting to kill Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs).
If Teofimo is mentally gone, as Taylor says, it’s something that happened after his fight with Vasily Lomachenko because he seemed very normal up to the point of the Loma fight. Where he seemed different was before and during his fight with George Kambosos Jr.
Regardless of his believing Teofimo insane, Taylor can’t afford to get caught by any of his big shots because he can still punch, and his hand speed is top-notch. Teo’s power isn’t quite as formidable at 140 as it was at 135, and punch resistance hasn’t looked good lately.
Josh will defend his WBO light welterweight title against Teofimo on ESPN at the Hula Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Max Kellerman: “In the promotion of this fight you seem to have gotten fed up with Teofimo. What is it about Teofimo that got under your skin?
Josh Taylor: “It’s just I just find him intolerable. Sometimes he just speaks gibberish nonsense. In one sense he’s talking about
being a role model for all the kids in the younger generation, and then in the next sentence, he’s talking about killing people and
having a body on his record.
“He just talks complete nonsense and just complete nonsense. His brains all over the place. I just think he’s mad. I think he’s crazy. I think a lot of it is promotion, a lot of it is bravado, but a lot of it is him. I think he’s mentally gone. I do think he’s quite mentally unstable, but I don’t really care who he is and what he is outside the ring.
“As long as he gets there on fight night and I can punish him for the words that he’ been saying. Yeah, I’m looking forward to it.”
Kellerman: “He seems to fight his best fight against his best opponents. He didn’t look great in a fight [against Masayoshi Nakatani], and then he destroys Richard Commey. And then he follows that up by beating Lomachenko at a point where Lomachenko is considered invincible. What does he do well, and how do you beat that?”
Taylor: “He does a lot of things well. Obviously, I’m not going to sit here and say what he does well and what he doesn’t do well. I know I see a lot of holes in his game that I can expose on fight night. He’s a very good fighter. He’s explosive, he’s fast, and he looks like he carries his power well and a good boxing IQ.
“You don’t come out on the right decision against Lomachenko if you can’t fight. He’s not as good as me. He looks like he wants to come and have a gunfight. If that comes into it, I’m the guy with the bigger guns and the bigger armory.”