George Kambosos is not trying to step aside!
As evidenced in a number of recent interviews, Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (16-0, 12 KO’s) has clearly turned his attention to Devin “The Dream” Haney (25-0, 15 KO’s). However, the WBA/WBO/IBF world lightweight champion has an IBF mandatory to satisfy with George “Ferocious” Kambosos Jr (19-0, 10 KO’s). While acknowledging that he must face Kambosos, Lopez has plainly stated that Haney is his priority.
If given his ideal circumstance, the Australian would step aside for the unification bout. Regrettably for team Lopez, Kambosos has no intention on playing nice. It appears that he has heard about Lopez’s plan and let it be known he was not about to budge.
GUNS AND BUTTER
The undefeated Kambosos was last in the ring on October 31, 2020 when he fought “Lightning” Lee Selby (28-3, 9 KO’s). Ferocious walked away with a split-decision victory. In fact, Kambosos is coming off back-to-back split decision wins. The previous one was awarded to him over Mickey “The Spirit” Bey (23-3-1, 11 KO’s). In against Lopez, the Australian would be a significant underdog.
The Take Over himself said that he was initially happy about the Kambosos fight. The unified champ thought that it would be fun to fight overseas in front of a huge audience. However, when COVID-19 put the clamps on the fans’ involvement, the fight lost a lot of luster for Lopez. Now, it sounds like Lopez better learn to love it again!
Whether the Take Over likes it or not, Kambosos has a legitimate claim to be his next opponent. To make matters more cut and dry for Team Lopez, there is no reason to believe that the IBF will not enforce their mandatory. In June of 2018, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KO’s) was stripped of his IBF middleweight title for not facing his mandatory. Then again in 2019, the IBF had zero problem stripping boxing cash cow Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (54-1-2, 36 KO’s) of his IBF middleweight title. Stranger things have happened, but for now, the next at bat for Teofimo Lopez’s hardware appears to be George Kambosos Jr.
By: Bakari Simpson