- What: WBO and The Ring junior welterweight title fight
- Who: Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez Jr
- Date: Saturday, June 10, 2023
- Time: 10 p.m. ET
- Location: Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
- How to Watch: ESPN+
On Saturday, June 10, Josh Taylor puts his WBO and The Ring junior welterweight titles on the line when he faces former WBA, IBF, WBO, and The Ring lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. ESPN+ carries the matchup. Here is some background on the fighters before we discuss, in detail, the betting breakdown of the Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez fight.
The 32-year-old Taylor is the top-rated fighter in the 140-pound weight division, according to The Ring. Taylor sports a perfect 19-0 record with 13 victories via knockout. He is coming off a February 2022 split decision win over Jack Catterall in Glasgow. Taylor became The Ring Magazine and undisputed champion after he defeated Jose Ramirez in May 2021.
Since losing his lightweight titles to George Kambosos Jr. by split decision in November 2021, Teofimo Lopez has moved up to 140 pounds. His career record is 18-1, with 13 knockout wins. The 25-year-old is 2-0 at junior welterweight and coming off a December 2022 split decision win over Sandor Martin. The Ring has Lopez rated at No. 9 in the weight division.
Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez betting picks
Josh Taylor betting breakdown
The first thing to consider is that Taylor has not fought since February 2022. With that, there is some concern that the Scottish southpaw could have some ring rust. However, it must be noted that he has only fought once per year in 2021 and 2022, so that concern might not be too pronounced.
Taylor is a southpaw who will use his lead hand to probe and feint. That approach gives him an advantage over Lopez, who tends to try to knock down the lead hand of his foe. Lopez’s tendency to defend this way will allow Taylor to time him and score with counters. Another thing Taylor does well is to exploit the tendency of opponents like Lopez, who overextend themselves when throwing power punches. He is good at countering those attempts with power to the head or body. Taylor is also the much better fighter in close. He excels at doing the dirty work, and if the ref allows for a lot of clinch work, he could rack up points in close.
Taylor has some issues with his footwork. He can often step too far in, forcing him to back straight out, leaving him open to be countered. He can also lunge in too often with his lead hand, which is another way he could get tagged with counters.
Teofimo Lopez betting breakdown
Lopez has good head movement and is mostly sound defensively, but he fights with a low lead hand, which gives his opponent, especially one with fast hands, the chance to connect with a lot of jabs. Lopez also tends to leap on his punches, which puts him on an unsteady base. Another liability of Lopez is his tendency to leave himself open for power punches by blocking his opponent’s lead hand with his own lead hand.
On the offensive side of the ledger, Lopez might be able to take advantage of Taylor sometimes over relying on establishing inside foot position. Taylor’s tendency to get too far in will present the fast and smart Lopez with countering opportunities, as Taylor will then be forced to back out on a straight line. Lopez will also be able to score if Taylor lunges in too much since Lopez is one of the best counterpunchers in the game.
Best Bets for Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez
Taylor’s inside game is one of the differences in this matchup. The other is that Lopez leaves himself open too often for the counters of Taylor. That will score points for Taylor and depending on how off-balance Lopez is, allow him to pick up easier than usual knockdowns. The best bet for the Taylor vs. Lopez fight is to pick Taylor by decision. However, there is value in betting on either fighter to win via knockout because of how both men can lunge in and open themselves to power counters.
Best bet for Josh Taylor vs. Teofimo Lopez: Pick Josh Taylor to beat Teofimo Lopez by decision.
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