It has been a long, bizarre road but Teofimo Lopez will finally step in the ring with George Kambosos Jr this weekend. The purse bid for the unified lightweight title showdown was won by Triller back in February, and the unconventional boxing content house tried unsuccessfully to stage the card for most of the year. There were attempts to take it to Australia, an initiative to put 58-year-old Evander Holyfield on the undercard and even an attempted rescheduling to accommodate a rap battle. Thankfully, sense eventually prevailed and Matchroom were awarded the rights to the anticipated bout.
Now the circus has left town, we are left with a fight to truly savour. Lopez will be defending the WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring lightweight belts in his first fight since outpointing the great Vasiliy Lomachenko thirteen months ago. In Kambosos, he meets a stern test. The unbeaten Australian is 19-0, and coming off decision wins over former world champions Mickey Bey and Lee Selby. We’ve waited long enough for this fight, but on-paper it has every chance of living up to the hype.
Where: Hulu Theater, New York
When: Saturday 27th November (1am Sunday UK time)
How To Watch: DAZN
Tale Of The Tape:
Place Of Birth: Brooklyn, New York
Alias: The Takeover/El Brooklyn
Record: 16-0 (12 KOs)
Last Fight: Lopez shocked the boxing world when he outpointed pound-for-pound candidate Vasiliy Lomachenko in a unification battle. Most had assumed the fight had come too soon and Lomachenko’s greater experience would tell. The opposite ended up being true, with Lopez looking the fresher man down the stretch as he took the fight to the Ukrainian.
Place Of Birth: Sydney, Australia
Record: 19-0 (10 KOs)
Last Fight: Kambosos travelled to the UK for his last bout, taking on former IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby. The Australian won a split decision, but most observers agreed the judges had seen the fight far too close. The consensus opinion was that Kambosos had been fairly comfortable throughout, and deserved a wider decision victory.
What They Say:
“I'm going to knock him out. I don't like this guy. I get it. He's playing a part, playing the tough guy. But disrespecting my family? I can't wait for his face to beat up my hands.” [Sky Sports]
“I’m preparing, people see how hungry I am. They can see his whole charisma, kid’s not focused. He’s distracted like crazy, he’s missing sessions left, right, and center. A few weeks ago he’s out partying, drinking and, yeah, it was a family celebration. Okay, but think about what I’ve had to miss out from my family, the celebrations I’ve had to miss out to put everything into this fight.” [Fight Hype]
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