Teofimo Lopez is trying to ensure he does not encounter any surprises in the ring against Josh Taylor.
The former unified lightweight champion and current junior welterweight contender says he changed up his usual preparation for an opponent this time around: He “watched film” on an opponent.
Lopez is set to challenge Scotland’s Taylor this Saturday at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City for Taylor’s WBO 140-pound title. The 12-round bout will headline a card to be televised on ESPN.
In a recent interview, Lopez indicated that he decided to review some of Taylor’s past fight—something Lopez says he has never done in the past for his previous fights.
“I actually watched film for the first time on a fighter,” Lopez told Punsh Drunk Boxing. “Never done that before. Tried something different this time. So I was watching film of Taylor. I got to see certain things. Watching patterns, watching things that I can already dissemble on a fighter like him. So, you know, I’m not overlooking him.”
Both fighters are coming into Saturday’s fight looking to rectify downturns in their respective careers.
Lopez, 25, is looking to regain the buzz he once had before he was upset by George Kambosos Jr. via split decision in 2021. Lopez’s last fight, a 10-rounder against Spain’s Sandor Martin, ended with Lopez winning a disputed split decision.
Taylor, 32, is coming off a highly controversial points win over England’s Jack Catterall last year, in a bout that was characterized as one of the biggest British boxing robberies in recent memory.
Lopez spoke highly of Taylor, saying he has proven himself against the who’s who of the 140-pound class.
“Obviously he has the accolades,” Lopez said. “He’s beaten every top fighter. Even Regis Prograis, Jose Ramirez, the list goes on and on. Jack Catterall can always be a question mark but they gave it to him so he’s undefeated.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.