George Kambosos Jr. (20-0, 10 KOs) pulled off a massive upset on Saturday night in unseating previously undefeated IBF/WBA/WBC Franchise/WBO lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) by a 12 round split decision at Madison Square Garden in New York.
After the fight, a bloody and battered Teofimo claimed that he should have been given the decision and that he had himself winning 10 rounds to 2. The crowd booed Teofimo at that point, letting him know that they weren’t happy with his poor sportsmanship.
Kambosos offered to give Teofimo a rematch in his home country of Australia in front of 80,000 fans, but he failed to agree. Teofimo said he wanted to go home.
The underdog Kambosos, 28, set the pace for the fight by knocking down the younger, bigger, and more powerful Teofimo with a perfectly placed right hand to the head in the first round.
The scores were:
- 115-111 Kambosos
- 115-112 Kambosos
- 114-113 Teofimo
Boxing 247 scored it for Kambosos 115-111
Teofimo faded in the middle rounds of the fight, getting outboxed and outworked by the clever Australian fighter Kambosos.
In the tenth round, Teofimo came back and knocked Kambosos down with two right hands to the head. However, Teofimo let Kambosos off the hook by failing to go all out for the knockout once he had him hurt.
Teofimo looked badly gassed out in the 11th and 12th and outworked by the better-conditioned Kambosos.
Both fighters were cut, but Teofimo got the worst of it with a bad cut over his left eye. He also suffered a bloody nose, which looked broken.
Teofimo looked bigger and not as cut up as he had been in his previous fight 13 months ago against Vasily Lomachenko. Teo appeared to have packed on a lot of water weight after weighing in successfully at 135 lbs last Friday.
You can argue that the combination of a year of inactivity and his struggles making weight likely was too much for Teofimo, leaving him sluggish and unable to fight as hard as he needed to be to defeat Kambosos.
Teofimo will need to make a careful decision whether to take a rematch with Kambosos or not because it’s going to be hard on him to make 135 again.
The way Kambosos outsmarted Teofimo with his movement, defensive, and tying him up to stymie his offense, it’s likely that he’ll do just as well in the rematch, particularly if it takes place in Australia in front of his fans.
Teofimo’s best hopes for a big payday likely rest in a rematch with Kambosos, though, because he can forget about getting the title shot that he’d hoped to get against undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor next.
Likewise, the fight that Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn had been pushing hard for Teofimo against WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney is now likely off the table as well.
If Teofimo doesn’t take the rematch with Kambosos, his options for a big payday are rather limited. Kambosos will have plenty of offers for a fight, perhaps against Haney, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Vasily Lomachenko, or even Ryan Garcia.