Josh Taylor doesn’t believe Teofimo Lopez’s last few fights in the 140-pound division have been reflective of his true ability as a fighter.

The WBO junior welterweight champion from Scotland is on track to fight Lopez, of Brooklyn, New York, on June 10 in New York City.

The matchup will allow Lopez, a former unified champion at 135, a chance to become a two-division world champion. A win for the 25-year-old Honduran American, moreover, would go a long way in turning back some of the criticism he has faced in his last several fights.

Lopez was seemingly headed for glory after he dispatched lightweight kingpin Vasiliy Lomachenko over 12 rounds in their lightweight unification bout in 2020. But Lopez, who resides in Las Vegas, came undone in his next fight the following year, a defense of his titles against George Kambosos Jr., who ended up winning a surprising decision. Since then, many onlookers have remarked that Lopez has not looked the same and have expressed concern for his mental health.

A move up to 140 last year after the loss to Kambosos has not done much to quell his critics. Lopez’s last fight, a points win over Sandor Martin at Madison Square Garden in New York City, was regarded as lackluster with many viewers lampooning a performance that could have resulted in a loss.

In a recent interview, Taylor sided with Lopez’s critics, acknowledging that he has not been “impressed” with the former champion’s stint at 140. Still, Taylor added that he believes Lopez remains a “great fighter.”

“I wasn’t overly impressed with his performances,” Taylor told iD Boxing. “He hasn’t had great performances. His first one wasn’t great, then his second one wasn’t great either. I never watched the full fight, but I saw highlights of it and he didn’t look too good, you know.

“Having said that, Sandor Martin looked like he was on the backfoot and kind of running away a lot. But, you know, you got to go in there and do a job. He’s not been in great performances, but you cannot take away from the fact that he is still a great fighter.”

Taylor was originally set to fight Jack Catterall in the spring (March 4) in a rematch of their controversial fight last year, but he suffered a foot injury that forced him yet again to pull out of the matchup. Instead of finding a new date, the organizers then pivoted to a Taylor-Lopez fight earlier this month, citing a mandate from the WBO for Lopez to contend for Taylor’s belt. But reports indicated that Top Rank had already been deep in discussion with both Taylor and Lopez well in advance of the WBO’s announcement.