- Tarrian Rodgers
George Kambosos captures titles in upset of the year against Teofimo Lopez
It was the fight we never thought would actually happen. After venue changes, covid delays and a year of trash talk between the two fighters. Saturday night was finally fight night for the heavy favorite Teofimo Lopez and his mandatory challenger George Kamboses Jr. Coming into the fight Lopez was the heavy 12-1 favorite entering with a record (16-0, 12 KOs). Lopez hasn’t fought since he himself shocked the world beating Vasiliy Lomachenko becoming the undisputed lightweight champion.
Lopez came right out attacking Kambosos with erratic right hands. Going for an early knockout which he predicted early in the week. Kambosos stood tough backing up, but Lopez missed the sweeping rights and lefts. Kambosos caught Lopez with a counter right on the cheek that knocked him down. Lopez was not hurt, but the knockout set the tone in the fight for Kambosos.
For the remainder of the fight Lopez slowed the pace down a bit and fought a more measured fight however Kamboses continued to come forward landing shots and making it a tough fight for the former champion. In the 10th round Lopez was able to knock down Kamboses with a hard right hand flury. Kamboses was able to weather the storm and continue to attack the right cut over Lopez’s eye. In the midst of a close 11th round, referee Harvey Dock halted the action to have the doctor check the cut over Lopez’ left eye, and once the bout was cleared to continue, it was Kambosos doing the better work to possibly earn the round.
Scores to end the fight were 115-111, 115-112, 113-114 for Sydney’s Kambosos, now 20-0 with 10 KOs. Lopez falls to 16-1, with 12 KOs. Kambosos now holds the WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC franchise and The Ring belts at 135 pounds. “You don’t believe in yourself, you don’t get this far,” said Kambosos. “I’m the emperor.” After the fight he said he would like to fight the winner of next week’s title fight Devin Haney vs Jojo Diaz.
As for the former champion Lopez, he was booed by his home crowd in New York “You’re a helluva fighter, but I won that fight,” said Lopez, “I don’t think it was a close fight at all.” Lopez's status at the 135 pound weight class will certainly be in question. He struggled to make weight in this fight and had a bout with covid. Lopez is still a young star in the sport. However, boxing may have birthed a new star in Australian George Kambosos Jr.