Josh Taylor doesn’t think three American judges gave him enough credit for his performance against Jose Ramirez in Taylor’s last fight in the United States.
The Scottish southpaw is therefore hopeful that three American judges aren’t assigned to score his upcoming 12-round, 140-pound championship bout with Teofimo Lopez. Taylor (19-0, 13 KOs) will defend his WBO junior welterweight title versus Lopez on June 10 in a main event ESPN will televise from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Lopez (18-1, 13 KOs) was born in Brooklyn and has also resided in South Florida and Las Vegas.
“Obviously, I’ve requested to have three different judges, that there not be all American judges,” Taylor told BoxingScene.com. “So, hopefully they accept what we’ve requested and hopefully that’s the case. But I don’t let things like that bother me anyway. I believe in myself and I’m confident in my ability, that it’s gonna be that much of a dominant display, that the judges can’t deny me.”
The New York State Athletic Commission approved a diverse panel of judges for Lopez’s last fight, a 10-rounder against Spain’s Sandor Martin that took place December 10 at Madison Square Garden.
Canada’s Pasquale Procopio (97-92) and California’s Max De Luca (96-93) both scored that fight for Lopez. Italy’s Guido Cavalleri scored Martin a 95-94 winner over Lopez, who was knocked down during the second round.
New York’s Ricky Gonzalez was the referee for the Lopez-Martin match, which Taylor recalled could’ve gone “either way.”
There were two judges from his opponent’s home country when Taylor defended his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO 140-pound crowns last year at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. England’s Ian John-Lewis (114-111) and Scotland’s Victor Loughlin (113-112) scored that 12-round fight for Taylor, whereas England’s Howard Foster scored their February 2022 bout 113-112 for England’s Jack Catterall.
An English referee, Marcus McDonnell, deducted a point apiece from Taylor and Catterall that night. McDonnell took a point from Catterall for holding in the 10th round and a point from Taylor for hitting Catterall after the bell sounded to conclude the 11th round.
Nine months earlier, Taylor defeated Ramirez (28-1, 18 KOs), of Avenal, California, by the same score, 114-112, according to each judge of their 12-round, 140-pound title unification fight in May 2021 at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. Nevada residents Tim Cheatham and Dave Moretti and New Jersey’s Steve Weisfeld scored that fight identically.
The two knockdowns Taylor produced – one in the sixth round and another in the seventh round – accounted for the difference on the cards of Cheatham, Moretti and Weisfeld, who scored six rounds apiece for Taylor and Ramirez.
Moretti, 78, has again drawn criticism for how he scored the Devin Haney-Vasiliy Lomachenko fight last Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Moretti scored Haney a wider winner, 116-112, than Cheatham (115-113) and David Sutherland (115-113). He also scored the 10th round, a round Lomachenko appeared to win definitively, for Haney.
Taylor felt Haney-Lomachenko – a 12-round fight for Haney’s IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO lightweight titles – was very competitive.
“Having seen that fight, I don’t know what all the huge fuss is about, the Lomachenko fight,” Taylor said. “I think it was a fight that could’ve gone either way.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.