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WBO orders Josh Taylor vs Teofimo Lopez, gives 10-day deadline

Teofimo Lopez became Josh Taylor’s mandatory challenger by beating Sandor Martin in December

Josh Taylor vs Teofimo Lopez headlines a nice bounce-back week on the boxing schedule Steve Welsh/PA Images via Getty Images and Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez are on the clock for their brewing summer tussle. The WBO has officially given the pair until February 24th to come to terms or else face a $150,000-minimum purse bid.

This is, as Scott said far more eloquently than I could, a matchup at least a year out of date. Taylor (19-0, 13 KO) has gone from beloved undisputed champion to increasingly unlikable titlist after slow-walking the process of being stripped and going back on his word about rematching Jack Catterall or moving to 147. This move is especially egregious, as he withdrew from said rematch due to injury only to immediately pivot to the Lopez (18-1, 13 KO) fight the moment Catterall scheduled a stay-busy bout in March.

I’m not saying he faked it, but booking a new fight two months after torpedoing a rematch a year in the making is a bad look.

As for Lopez, he’s lost all of the momentum generated by his brilliant rise through the lightweight ranks. He’s proven worryingly mortal since losing his titles to George Kambosos Jr, as seen when he barely edged out Sandor Martin in December, and even he’s expressed doubt as to whether the magic is still there.

At least it should be fun while it lasts.

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