Teofimo Lopez has an idea for killing two birds with one stone.
The unified lightweight champion (WBA/WBO/IBF) thinks Josh Taylor, the undisputed junior welterweight champion, should meet him at a catchweight bout in which they put their respective slew of title belts on the line some time in the near future, meaning the winner becomes the top dog in two weight divisions.
“[We] fight for both titles, for both undisputed [labels],” Lopez recently told IFL TV. “And [we] do a catch-weight either at 138 or even 139. I’ll even go up a little bit so…he has to drop one pound down. Or 137 and a half. Either or. We do that. If Leo Santa Cruz and Gervonta Davis could do that, at 130 and 135 for the WBA [titles], why can’t we do undisputed [versus] undisputed, mix and match, and do a catchweight in between those and the winner becomes undisputed on both weight classes. Right?
“C’mon. This is boxing. If we’re having YouTubers and everything else why the f--- can’t we have that happen. Right? We’re already disrespected in this sport. Why not try to f------ do something like that. That’s irrational?"
Although Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) feels that he is the rightful undisputed lightweight champion, the WBC lightweight title technically currently belongs to Devin Haney (26-0, 15 KOs). Lopez won the three other major lightweight belts in 2020 after he defeated Vasiliy Lomachenko, who shortly before that matchup was elevated by the WBC to its “Franchise Champion” designation, thus paving the way for Haney to become the sanctioning body’s outright lightweight titleholder.
Lopez was scheduled to face his IBF mandatory George Kambosos on Oct. 16 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. That fight is now in limbo after Triller, who held the promotional rights, revealed on Saturday that they were no longer promoting the contest.
Taylor (18-0, 13 KOs) is set to defend his belts against his WBO mandatory Jack Catterall on Dec. 18 at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. Taylor unified the 140-pound class last May with a clear decision over Jose Ramirez.
“I’m willing to put all my belts up and do that,” Lopez said of facing Taylor. “Y’all gotta ask Josh Taylor if he’s willing to do that. Don’t tell me after [Jack] Catterall he’s moving up to 147. Nah my guy. Uh, uh. don’t do that. You’re going to fight me. You talked all that smack about me.”
Taylor has hinted that he is bound for the welterweight division sooner rather than later. His promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, who also promotes Lopez, has expressed interest in pairing Taylor against Terence Crawford, the 34-year-old WBO welterweight champion at some point in 2022.
Lopez, 24, believes that he poses the more interesting challenge for Taylor.
“Look, no disrespect to Crawford, man,” Lopez said. “But he’s on his way out. I think he knows it. I think he knows it. Know what I mean?
“I’m all about breaking records and all about making history,” Lopez continued. “I feel like it’s going to be a great fight. [Taylor is] an excellent fighter — sometimes. Put him in front of me and I’ll show you what I’m capable of doing to all these guys.”