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One of this Saturday’s biggest sports events is set for the boxing’s world welterweight title fight between Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez in Madison Square Garden. Josh Taylor (19-0; 13 KOs) comes into this fight as the defending WBO and the Ring light-welter weight title champion more than 15 months from his controversial win. Teofima Lopez (18-1; 13 KOs) is coming into this fight as the contender for the light-welterweight title champion. While many fights have a little personal flare and attention, the mental battle of this fight will be just as important as the physical.
Taylor has had a dominating run throughout the majority of his professional career. It is clear that he is one of the top fighters in his weight class, but he goes into this fight with Lopez having to prove himself. Taylor is coming off a controversial 12-round split decision win over Jack Catterall on February 26th, 2022. In the fight against Catterall, Taylor was knocked down hard in round eight and was hit more. The one difference was the power hits, by which Taylor only had 2% more.
Lopez (25 years old) is a younger boxer as opposed to Taylor (32 years old). He has accounted for some clear and decisive victories early in his career. Like Taylor, Lopez has much to prove, but in a different setting. A combination of poor training and problems in his personal life has affected his abilities in two of the last two big fights. His first and only professional loss was in a 12-round split decision to George Kambosos Jr. on November 27th, 2021. Two fights later, he struggled in the 12-round split decision win over Sandor Martin. While Lopez is physically more prepared than Taylor, he may not be as mentally prepared if the bizarre weigh-in and stare-off have an indication.
WSN is a place to go for coverage and support for sports betting. Taylor vs Lopez will be another opportunity for users to place some great bets and potentially be rewarded for the process. DraftKings is among the top sports betting properties to place money on the line for this fight. According to DraftKings, Taylor comes into the fight as the favorite end at -200 while Lopez is shown as the underdog at +155.
There are plenty of different outcomes to bet. Here are the five main betting odds from DraftKings.
This fight between Taylor vs Lopez has light-welter weight implications, but more so, it is a fight on legacy and their place in the sport of boxing. This is an event that should demand the most from the fighters so much on the line, but the battle isn’t just a physical fight. Taylor has been in the right mindset in his last couple of fights, while Lopez has drawn serious concerns.
This fight could start normally with both displaying their brand of fighting with Taylor’s power and precious and Lopez’s speed and explosiveness in his strikes. As the fight progresses, there could be a shift to where Lopez could let up as he has not had a clear mentality in his head in his last few fights. With Taylor hot and Lopez not, the mental battle is the big reason why Taylor is the favorite of this fight to win by unanimous or technical knockout around rounds 10 to 12.
It has been a while since Taylor has stepped into the ring and it will be the first since the win of Catterall. His age will be a big indication of the fight on Saturday, but he has shown he can keep up the youngest and fastest fights in the light-welterweight.
Taylor is a very patient and powerful boxer. He doesn’t need much room to deliver devastating knockdown hits on his opponents. His quick jabs have serious power as they leave an opponent forced to adjust after the fights, especially from the body shots. One of the most underrated aspects of Taylor in the ring is his reflexes and reaction time after the opponent leaves just enough of a window after their attempted shot at him. Add his power to his quick set of short jabs where he doesn’t have to extend; it can be the big knockout.
When Lopez is at his best, he is a quick, shifty, and powerful fighter. Unlike Taylor, who likes to deliver close shots, Lopez is highly efficient in delivering a solid set of hits from a distance. Several of his punches are single shots from a distance or they are combined in a rhythm that could knock down his opponent. Lopez is also a tough defender as he has shown he can hit a serious hit and find himself right back of the offensive end of the hits afterward.
Lopez is conditioned and tough enough to withstand a barrage of powerful hits from Taylor. He has the skill set to go round-to-round with Taylor and deliver convincing blows. Taylor can find his opportunity through multiple close-distance encounters. He can find himself delivering the finishing blow around the later rounds.
Overall, Taylor, in his past few fights, can take the heat and deliver a convincing performance through all 12 rounds. Lopez, on the other hand, has not been able to show he endure a grind through 12 rounds, due to mental fatigue. That can be a big push for Taylor to deliver a tenacious set of punches in the later round that Lopez might not be able to overcome.
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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