Josh Taylor says the mental mistakes that marked in his poor showing against Jack Catteral won’t return in his June 10 title fight against Teofimo Lopez.
The former undisputed champion at 140 has been hounded by his last performance against Catterall where he won a highly controversial split decison. A rematch fell through due to injuries on both sides. Taylor has since vacated three of his four belts rather than face mandatories over the more lurative Lopez opportunity.
In the year since facing Catteral, Taylor has seen his stock drop on Pound 4 Pounds lists and admits being undisputed sapped his previous mental edge.
“A little bit of complacency had crept in from where I had just been, it felt like I had just climbed Mount Everest in becoming undisputed world champion and I went out and enjoyed life a bit too much, ate a bit too much food, drank a little bit too much, had a bit too much pizza,” Taylor told Sky Sports. “I definitely learned that lesson, I will not be making that mistake again.”
A significant reason for Taylor’s renewed focus is his first opportunity to compete at Madison Square Garden. Although Taylor has previously fought twice in America, the Garden has been one of his career goals and fighting a dangerous puncher in Lopez creates the perfect combination.
“Given what I’ve achieved in 19 fights, I need fights like this that are going to get that fire in my belly and the nervous butterflies that keeps my motivation going, my hunger going and the fire burning in my stomach,” Taylor declared. “Boxing at Madison Square Garden where everyone dreams of boxing and I’ve always said that I want to box there one day.
“I’m just so buzzing to get over there and get stuck in amongst it.”
Taylor-Lopez will air live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET. Additional undercard bouts will air on ESPN+. Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster.com.