Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn says Teofimo Lopez is vulnerable against challenger George Kambosos Jr. this Saturday due to the weight cut and the inactivity that he’s had.
As Teofimo’s dad says, he’s a 147-pounder who boils down to campaign at 135. Thus far, Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) has been able to do this because of his youth, but it’s now become too difficult for him due to him approaching his mid-20s.
Moreover, Teofimo has been inactive for the last 13 months, which adds to the problems that he could have against the motivated upset-minded Australian Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs).
The 24-year-old Teofimo will be defending his IBF, WBA, WBC Franchise, and WBO lightweight titles this Saturday, November 27th, against IBF mandatory Kambosos at Madison Square Garden in New York.
This is home turf for the New Yorker Teofimo, but it may not help him if he’s weight drained or rusty from a year-long layoff since his biggest career win over Vasily Lomachenko in October 2020.
Kambosos feels overlooked
“He came up to me saying, ‘I’m doing your job for you, man.’ I said, ‘You are. I’m going to retire, and I think you should come in full time,'” said Eddie Hearn to iFL TV on a conversation he had with Teofimo Lopez Sr.
“You don’t have to like Teofimo’s dad. I actually know him. I think he’s a nice guy and quite like him, but if I didn’t know him, I’d think he’s a complete bell-end, and I think a lot of people do.
“But he’s passionate. He lives it, he’s a hype man, he’s a trainer, and he’s his dad. I think characters in boxing are always great, and he’s undoubtedly one of those.
“Rivalries are good. This Saturday, it’s between Teofimo and George Kambosos. Kambosos brings some good points, and they’re overlooking him, and they are overlooking him. He keeps telling me that, and that’s generally what he believes.
“This is big-time boxing, and anything can happen,” said Hearn. “Teofimo is dangerous, but so is George, and this is an opportunity of a lifetime for George Kambosos and Australian boxing. He’s here to win,” said Hearn of the Australian Kambosos.
It’s clear that Teofimo and the boxing world have entirely overlooked the highly motivated 28-year-old Kambosos for this fight, which could blow up in the faces of Lopez and his dad/trainer Teofimo Sr.
Kambosos is treating this fight like it’s his Super Bowl, and he’s worked hard in camp, hoping to shock the world to bring back Teofimo’s titles to Australia.
As Teofimo said himself, Kambosos is basically a super featherweight who chooses to campaign at lightweight. Kambosos would be better off moving down to 130 to fight against guys his own size, but he’s putting himself at a disadvantage fighting at lightweight against guys like Teofimo.
The fact that Kambosos is an undersized lightweight could help him on Saturday because he won’t be drained from making the 135-lb limit, and that may be all he needs to defeat Teofimo.
Teofimo weight cut could hurt him
“If you want to talk about Kambosos’ chance, you can talk Teofimo’s weight cut, and you can talk about his inactivity and the ups and downs that he’s had.
“He had a baby ten days ago. But he’s very, very good, and he just beat Vasily Lomachenko [in October 2020], but Kambosos will bring everything in this fight.
“Look, we were fortunate to win a purse bid for this fight; it’s a massive fight for Matchroom to be a part and a massive battle for DAZN to land on their schedule as well.
“It’s been an absolute job to work with Teofimo; he’s done everything that we’ve asked, which is quite unique. He’s not our fighter [Matchroom Boxing], he’s not a DAZN fighter, but he’s done everything asked of him, and we respect him for that.
“I just saw him and said, ‘You guys have been great.’ It doesn’t have to be complicated. Boxing doesn’t have to be difficult, but people make it difficult. So we’ll see what happens in the future.
Haney next for Teo?
“We’ve all shook hands that Teofimo will fight Devin Haney if they win, and I don’t believe his dad [Teofimo Lopez Sr] would go back on his word.
“In fact, his dad called me, screaming after the head-to-head, saying, ‘Please, don’t let him [Haney] fight anybody else.’ He’s got our word as well, and Bill Haney has given me his word.
“If both guys win, they will fight each other, and no one is going back on their word. If they do, in the words of Teofimo Sr, you’re a p****y, and I don’t believe anyone there is a p***y, and I certainly wouldn’t tell them to their face. Therefore, honor your word and make the fight.
“There’s always general respect between the teams. Me and Bob [Arum] don’t always get on, but this isn’t on mine and Bob’s level when social media teams and the photographers and media are swapping information backward and forward.
“We’ll give it to them if they want it, and we’ll give it to them when they want it. We have a good relationship with Top Rank, but sometimes me and Bob don’t get on, but we respect each other as a company.
“It doesn’t have to be difficult, these types of things, but boxing makes it difficult. It doesn’t have to be that way, and this is a great example of where it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Hearn.
Ideally, fans will see a fight between Teofimo and WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney next, assuming both fighters win their respective contests.
Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) has a tough title defense against WBC interim 135-lb champion Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz Jr. (32-1-1, 15 KOs) on December 4th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
It’s not a 100% certainty that Haney wins that fight, mainly how he looked against his last opponent Jorge Linares earlier this year on May 29th.
Unfortunately for Hearn, both Teofimo and his dad have recently been talking about the possibility of facing undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor next, so they may choose to go in that direction rather than meet Haney.