Written by Tré Berry III | 11/28/2021
This is not, I repeat…this is not the welcome homecoming that now-former Champion 🇺🇸Teofimo “Takeover” Lopez Jr. (16-1-0, 12KO) had anticipated. That party was spoiled by determined, angry Aussie fighter 🇦🇺George Kambosos Jnr. (20-0-0, 10KO), who not only willed the events of the fight to bend his way, but he fought very intelligently in aiding himself to get there. Both fighters were put down in this contest, with Kambosos shocking Lopez in the first round as Lopez was looking for the early stoppage, and Teofimo returning the favor in the 10th round, gaining momentum, but it was too much craft, and brazen from the Australian fighter.
He picked up the Split-Decision victory on American soil to win all of the highest ranked titles in each sanctioning body, and their rollout, which should bring out no qualms about the Undisputed picture at all when it comes to the sport, and the Lightweight division when using proper context.
TENSIONS BREWED, AND THE FISTS WERE FLYING IN THE EARLYGOING FROM BOTH
Teofimo immediately after the opening bell came out right after Kambosos with big right hands, showing no regard for the Australian then-challenger, whom he had serious disdain for in the lead-up to this fight, through the delays. As Teofimo calmed his attack down a bit in the second half of the round, Kamboosos started to activate his jab.
He did however walk into a big counter uppercut that momentarily shook his legs. Lopez was putting full power on his punches, and his speed was bothering Kambosos, but his over-eagerness got him into trouble, as he got caught with a massive overhand right hand from Kambosos that put Teofimo on the canvas. Teofimo got up, but the round ended.
In round 2, Lopez seemed to have a little bit more respect for the respectable power that the Aussie possesses, and Kambosos carried a better air of confidence about himself. They fought a more methodical approach in middle distance, with Kambosos trying to hook off the jab, and Teofimo surveying what he could counter with effectively. Kambosos showed a bit better head movement in this contest that he has shown in previous fights, and it was just enough to make it difficult for Lopez to time in and get to the sweet spot.
Teofimo opened up with a double right hand attack in round 3, getting it behind the ear, while Kambosos began to move and circle off of the backfoot, seemingly looking for openings to exploit. Kambosos started to find cracks in the defense, hooking off of the jab, and firing strong right hands to the pit of the stomach.
Lopez landed a good uppercut while George leaned into it, but he was noticeably taking the big power very well that was being dished out. Tempers flared between the two at the end of the round, with Kambosos inadvertently knocking Referee Harvey Dock down, to which of course got a bit of a warning his way in the corner.
George was showcasing boxing intelligence in surveying Teofimo’s positioning, and varying up his combination attack, taking the predictability out of the picture. The bad blood brewed up between the two had translated well to the ring, and we were the recipients of pretty good action breaking out center ring. Round 5, Teofimo began to apply the front foot pressure, looking to step in so he could loop the right hand with power to the ear.
Kambosos was daring Lopez to come in, as he had his lead hand low, and had the right hand cocked for dynamite impact. Teofimo’s right eye began to show signs of swelling. By this point of the fight, it was highly competitive, and Kambosos didn’t appear to be overmatched at all, leading in fact. Down the stretch of the round, George landed an overhand right to punctuate the round.
Lopez was ripe for the right hand all night, as he continued to get hit with a good dose of them in the 6th frame. George looked to be the boss in the 7th round, and Teofimo began to look mildly bewildered by what was taking place, often standing flat footed, and getting taken advantage of in the skirmishes.
Once again, George was in the drivers seat in the 8th stanza, getting off first, and even finishing up the exchanges with his own weaponry. Teofimo, face battered and bloody…appeared to be losing his speed a bit as well, but it has to be noted that he got Kambosos attention with a left hook and an uppercut in the waning seconds.
Round 9, Teo strung together an impressive 3 punch combination that had George in mild retreat mode, looking to regather his bearings, but he quickly got back to work. One of the most entertaining rounds of the bout had concluded, and the feeling was that the next 3 minutes would be the most pivotal of the bout, with George clearly ahead, but Teofimo beginning to work up some momentum in getting himself back in the swing of the action.
Round 10, Lopez dropped him with an arching right hand that he tried to slip under. Kambosos got back on his wobbly legs, and and Teofimo looked to finish him off, though couldn’t get the right combinations together to finish the job, but the damage was done to emphatically win the round, getting closer from the scoring aspect.
In the 11th round, Teofimo continued to push on the gas, but George kept his composure, and started to land some quality right hands mid round that further busted Lopez face wide open. Harvey Dock called time at 36 seconds for the Ring-Physician to look at the cut, but he was cleared to continue. It seemed the sight of the blood energized Kambosos, standing his ground and belting Lopez with more right hands straight down the pike.
The 12th round carried the heightened tension of everything coming to a climax, and they both fought valiantly down the stretch, both bloody, firing with menacing intention down the stretch until the 12th and final bell. As you would expect,
the embrace between both fighters was a bit icy at the bell- fitting considering their animosity towards one another, that went a couple steps past competitive fighters butting heads…but it was Kambosos when cooler heads prevailed, went over to Lopez, and they gave each other a proper embrace that was welcoming to see.
As usual, there was a funny scorecard that was entered into the mix, but with Frank Lombardi and Glenn Feldman overruling the errant scorecard. George Kambosos had been awarded the Upset Split-Decision victory to become the new Undisputed Lightweight Champion of the World, winning the RING-MAGAZINE / WBA / WBO / IBF title belts, and also winning the highest variant of the WBC world title belt in their sanctioning bodies rollout, thus no argument whatsoever to be made otherwise.
Lopez embarrassed himself in the post fight, claiming victory, refusing to show class in what was a rather easy fight to score both in terms of round-by-round, and a clear outlook throughout the 12 rounds on who the victor was, without debate.
Lopez did state that weight had been a problem for the last 2 years, and that he will heavily consider moving up to Junior-Welterweight. Kambosos, now sitting on top of the world…his victory causes a serious ripple effect, as he keeps all of the belts consolidated, en lieu to the open dialogue that Teofimo was looking to vacate everything after this assignment, which would’ve caused a mess in the Lightweight division, as they would have started over with scattered trinkets, in the day and age when it is very difficult to get the belts together draped over one man (or woman of course). Kambosos will have many options atop the Lightweights elite.
You got the former Lineal World Champion 🇺🇦Vasiliy “Loma” Lomachenko, who was wrapped up in this saga with the Lopez camp, as they continued to dangle bait like a carrot instead of properly entertaining the prospects of the rematch that the public had clamored for. You of course got dangerous 🇺🇸Devin Haney, who holds the secondary ranked WBC trinket regarding their sanctioning body, and that too would be a very welcomed fight, especially to cut all the clamor regarding the WBC’s shady practices which is why there’s such a split in rationale between people.
🇺🇸Gervonta “Tank” Davis is in the mix…..you may see all of the major players come out, which is a stark contrast to what was taking place in the Lightweight division (minus a couple of fighters) which hindered a very talented division by those playing footsie with their prospects instead of getting into the ring to settle things the old fashioned way, by Combat. The slate is wide open for George, and we may see a big fight come his way in the Spring of next year, or maybe the summer. Reshuffle the deck, the rollout has changed at 135 lbs…