Teofimo Lopez finally returns to take on his mandatory challenger, George Kambosos Jr. Live from Madison Square Garden, the two clash for the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and The Ring lightweight titles. The fight will be broadcast on DAZN, instead of Triller as previously arranged. The fight was originally scheduled for the summer, however, COVID played havoc with the match-up, but finally we have it.
Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Jr Preview
In a stacked lightweight division, Teofimo Lopez certainly stands out. He holds all but one of the belts at 135lbs, the WBC belt. With that being said, the current WBC titleholder, Devin Haney never actually won the belt, he was gifted it as a result of predictable boxing politics.
Undefeated at 16-0, the Brooklyn native is amazingly just 23 years old. With 12 knockouts, Lopez has heavy hands for the division, knocking out some of the premium competitors at the weight, most notably to capture the IBO title in 2019. Facing Richard Comey, Teofimo Lopez surprised many by knocking Comey out in round two.
That set up ‘the’ fight with the P4P great, Vasyl Lomachenko. The Ukrainian double Olympic gold medalist was understandably the favourite going into the fight, barely putting a foot wrong in 14 wins. What played out, however, lost a lot of people money. Lopez dominated Lomachenko. Winning the first nine rounds on all cards, Lopez cruised to a unanimous decision victory to capture three of the four major belts.
He’s big for the weight and could very much make the jump up a weight to super lightweight where the Scottish Josh Taylor reigns supreme. This could be Teofimo Lopez’s last fight at 135lbs.
— Teofimo Lopez (@TeofimoLopez) November 22, 2021
Australia’s Hopeful Challenger
At 19-0, Australia’s George Kambosos Jr understandably comes into this one with plenty of confidence and momentum. He was impressive last time out when he defeated Lee Selby by unanimous decision. His speed was too much for the former IBF featherweight champion, leading to a victory for the Australian. Prior to this, he defeated Mickey Bey, the former lightweight IBF champion by split decision.
Ready To Handle Business This Weekend 🏆 No Stone Unturned. And New! pic.twitter.com/Ixi2TLwBOM
— George "Ferocious" Kambosos Jr (@georgekambosos) November 21, 2021
He’s clearly got experience of being in there with solid competitors, but perhaps non as powerful as Lopez. With 10 knockouts in 19 wins, Kambosos Jr has power, but we haven’t seen it as of late. Three of his last four fights have gone the distance. He’s also only gone 12 rounds twice, back in 2016 and last time out against Selby.
The Fight Itself
These two don’t like each other. It’s that simple. At a pre-fight press conference back in April, Lopez and Kamobosos Jr almost got into it months before the fight itself.
We haven’t seen Teofimo Lopez this worked up before a fight and this may certainly play a factor. If he goes in there and looks to take Kambosos out early, he could get caught and finished.
With that being said, Lopez has much more high-level experience. This is likely to play a part as he’s also used to the big stages and bright lights. He headlined against Lomochenko and was co-main event against Comey. Ironically, Kambosos Jr also fought Bay on this card.
Expect the bookies to have got this one bang on. Lopez is the favourite and for good reason. He’s shown that he has the power and intelligence to take opponents out, but has also shown that, if needs be, he can outbox opponents over 12 rounds. Lopez is a 1/8 favourite in this one and rightfully so, entering the bout as a champion.
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