Home Boxing News Bad blood ready to boil over between Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez...

Bad blood ready to boil over between Josh Taylor and Teofimo Lopez at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night

Josh Taylor (far left) and Teofimo Lopez (far right). Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

WBO welterweight champion Josh ‘The Tartan Tornado’ Taylor 19-0 (13) has admitted there is genuine hatred between him and challenger Teofimo ‘The Takeover’ Lopez 18-1 (13) ahead of their grudge match at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night.

The boxers were kept at a save distance at the final press conference to prevent any unnecessary fireworks.

“He means what he says and I mean what I say,” Taylor said. “There is genuine dislike here. He’s been disrespectful. I’m going to make him pay for his words on Saturday. I can’t wait to get in there. You will see a Josh Taylor win, possibly by KO, and nice and early as well.”

The 32-year-old Scottish southpaw wasn’t the only one promising a devastating outcome.

“I worked my ass off, eleven weeks of camp,” said Lopez, 25, of Brooklyn. “This is going to be the best version of me. Practice makes improvement. We’ve improved since my last fight.

“We’re ready to put on a show. I’m going to be a two-time lineal world champion… I’m here to come in there and take everything that you’ve got.”

Taylor has been taking extra precautions in his training camp to ensure there are no spies from Team Lopez sneaking into his gym.

“He’s from just over the water, Brooklyn Bridge so I don’t want any sneakies in here and having a sneak peek and spying,” Taylor told Sky Sports.

“We’ve turned the cameras down. It’s one of those things where you trust no one. They’ve been very accommodating and welcomed us with open arms, but we just don’t trust anyone and don’t want to open the doors.

“We want to keep it closed now it’s getting to the real serious end where we’re working on specifics. We’ve closed it down and made sure no one could see anything to get let out.”

Boxing on the road is nothing new for Taylor, having fought five times in the US in the past. In his most recent outing Stateside, he unified all four major world titles at 140-pounds with a unanimous decision victory over Jose Carlos Ramirez in Las Vegas two years ago.

“I’m coming to the Lion’s Den. It’s basically his backyard. I’m coming over here and I’m going to kick his backside and put his tail between his legs and send him home to think again. We’re not thinking about Teo at all, apart from just what we’re going to do tactics-wise. We’re just focusing on ourselves,” Taylor said.

Retired former world cruiserweight champion Tony Bellew is convinced he knows who will win.

“Two excellent fighters and it’s going to come down to who wants it the most on the night,” said Bellew said to DAZN.

“We’ve seen what both of these fighters are capable of when at their best and if we get the best version of both men then this fight could be something special.

“Josh is the naturally bigger man and I think he’d be wise to use his size. Make it his fight early and then stay on top. If he can do that then he’ll outwork Lopez and take this fight on the cards.”