Teofimo Lopez did get the win tonight over Josh Taylor, but two of the judges nearly screwed that up in a fight that just wasn’t all that close.
Judge Benoit Roussel scored the fight 117-111 for Lopez, which was close to the 118-110 unofficial card we had during the fight, and while scoring from an office chair watching TV is absolutely not the same as scoring from ringside, and I certainly don’t think I’m any infallible genius, it’s just impossible for me to understand the other two cards.
Judges Steve Gray and Joseph Pasquale both had the bout 115-113 for Lopez, and in both cases, Lopez had to win the 12th round — and he did — to avoid what would have been a majority draw if those two had scored that round for Taylor.
A look at the cards:
After three rounds, both Gray and Pasquale had Taylor up 30-27, which actually isn’t that crazy. I had it 29-28 Taylor there, but it also could easily have been 29-28 Lopez. Still, they were close rounds in the second and third especially, so OK, that’s actually not the problem.
Gray then scored the next three for Lopez, and Pasquale scored two of them for Lopez. At that point, Gray had it 57-57, Pasquale had it 58-56 Taylor, and Roussel had it 59-55 for Lopez, giving Taylor only the first round.
Through 10 rounds, Gray and Pasquale both had it 95-95. By that point, Roussel had it 97-93 for Lopez, and for what it’s worth, I had it 98-92 for Teofimo, who had simply dominated the middle rounds, there were really no good arguments for Taylor between rounds four and nine, I don’t think. Of those rounds, Gray gave Taylor the seventh and 10th, and Pasquale gave Taylor the sixth and 10th. The 10th, which I gave to Lopez, was marked as a “swing” on my card.
All three judges gave Teofimo the final two rounds. He totally dominated the 12th, and in hindsight, it’s good that he did, because he was that close to leaving with a draw, which would have felt like a flat robbery.
It is often said, “Well, the right man won at least,” and with boxing, you do kind of understand that. The right fighter so often does not win that you start to feel like you have to take the best you can get.
But if you don’t care what I think, let’s kick it to trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards and ex-titleholder Caleb Truax:
Imagine Teo needing the last 2 rounds to WIN. I dont want to hear the “right” guy won. No way thats a 115-113 fight. Thats scary! Teo won 9 rounds and got credit for 7.
— Stephen Edwards (@BreadmanBoxing) June 11, 2023
The right man did win, yes, but it was way too close to that yet again not being the case. If Taylor had shaded that 11th round on those two cards, we’re having a wildly different conversation, and the next time something like this comes up, that absolutely might happen. It happens way too often.
No, nothing will change, not because of these words or anyone else’s, but sometimes you want to say it anyway, and it deserves to be said. This was just not really a close fight, and Taylor had no argument to be that close to leaving with the WBO belt.