THIS coming week everyone is going to have an opinion on the highly anticipated fight between Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez.
The super-lightweight confrontation pairs two skilled technicians with combustible personalities. It is a mix that could produce something special at the Madison Square Garden Theatre on June 10.
Fight week will be awash with debate, but there are individuals who know what it’s like to exchange punches with the two fighters. One such person is Luke Campbell. The 2012 Olympic bantamweight gold medallist retired from the professional code in July 2021 finishing with a record of 20 wins and four losses.
Campbell has the experience of having sparred both Taylor and Lopez and spoke to Boxing News about those encounters and their upcoming fight.
“Yeah, I sparred them both. Had a lot of success with them both. Both great fighters. Sparring’s sparring at the end of the day. I don’t really go too much into gym wars or anything like that, but Taylor was helping me out for the [Vasiliy] Lomachenko fight as well. Sometimes [a] southpaw throws a lot of shots. It was great work.”
“I think that’ll be a great fight,” he said of Taylor v Lopez.
“It’ll be an interesting fight, I think. Obviously, Taylor in his last fight didn’t look that impressive [against Jack Catterall]. To be honest with you none of them were that impressive in their last fights. Even Lopez [against Sandor Martin] didn’t and he was fighting a southpaw, too. He didn’t look very impressive whatsoever, but this will be a different type of fight I believe.”
Campbell gave a credible display against Lomachenko in August 2019 but lost on points against the world’s best lightweight at the time. The Brit also shared a ring with Jorge Linares and Ryan Garcia. Against Linares he was unlucky not to get the decision and despite dropping Garcia in the second round Campbell’s final fight of his career ended when ‘King Ry’ put him down with a body shot five sessions later.
Josh Taylor is still rated as the number one super-lightweight in spite of his poor showing against Catterall last year. Lopez will take the Scot’s position should he be victorious. So, who will win in the Big Apple?
“Do you know what I struggle on this one I really do,” Campbell answered.
“They both can punch. Taylor gets his power from putting his combinations together. I believe Lopez has power in his single shots. Whose got the right game plan and who hits the other one first? I don’t think it’ll go the distance, but I don’t know who [will win]. I’m really sitting on the fence with this one.”
BN pressed the 35-year-old for an answer.
“I want to give you a decision. I want to say Lopez or Taylor. I don’t know which way this fight’s gonna go. Taylor’s got a great chin. They say you’re only as good as your last performance but I’m struggling to pick a winner.”