“It’s been a long time coming,” López says. “We just beat the No 1 guy, the lineal world champion, the former undisputed world champion.”
López, who made the wrong kind of headlines during the run-up by stating that he aspired to take Taylor’s life in the ring, embraces his foe and apologizes.
“I think let my emotions get the best of me,” he says. “I do not want to take your life. I want to you to go back to your family. I apologize as a man.”
López continues: “Josh Taylor is a tough dude. I can see why he beat so many fighters. But you’ve got to counter the counterpuncher. You’ve got to outsmart the man and get in there. And I did that. I think I did enough. This is what it is all about. I questioned myself for a good reason. You guys don’t understand. I’ve always been my worst critic. And you guys got a little glimpse of it. But I’ve just got to ask you one thing, and one thing only. Do I still got it?”
“No excuses,” Taylor says. “It wasn’t my best. The better man won tonight. I’ve got no excuses. I fought to the best of my ability. He was better than me tonight. It is what it is. Congratulations to Teófimo.”
He continued: “I thought it was a close fight. I’d love to do it again. I definitely know I’m better than that, and I know I can beat him still. I’d love to do it again. But he’s the champ, so the ball is in his court.”
Taylor disputed the notion that his 15 months of inactivity before tonight’s fight worked against him.
“The layoff had nothing to do with it,” he says. “I’ve got no excuses. He was the better man tonight. I think probably will be moving up to welterweight now. But, no excuses. He was the better man tonight.”
Teófimo López is a two-division world champion after handing Josh Taylor the first defeat of his professional career and taking the WBO junior welterweight title he’d held since 2021.
The three judges at ringside handed down scores of 115-113 (what?), 115-113 (what?!) and 117-111 (that’s more like it). The Guardian had it 116-112, which doesn’t quite reflect the extent of López’s domination: two of the rounds scored to Taylor could have easily gone López’s way.