Teofimo Lopez Suffers Huge Upset Loss to Mandatory George Kambosos
In his most recent prizefight WBA super, IBF and WBO lightweight champion Teofimo “Take Over” Lopez (16-1, 12 KO’s) lost his titles in dramatic fashion. “Ferocious” George Kambosos Jr (20-0, 10 KO’s) stuck to his game plan and remained calm under supreme pressure to claim a split decision win over the former champion.
The road to this fight was littered with illness, date changes, location disputes and shifts in promotional companies. On top of that, Lopez and Kambosos shared a mutual and intense distaste for one another which provided a very heated fight promotion.
Lopez entered the bout a little over a year after his most significant professional points victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko. In that match, Lopez was able to take ownership of three of the four belts in the division. For Kambosos, who had also been inactive for the past year, this bout with the Take Over was his most meaningful prizefight.
There is little doubt that the emphatic loss will come as a crushing blow for the Take Over. Ferocious was adamant that he was going to overthrow Lopez and take on WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney, a fight that Lopez has consistently flip-flopped on. It’s also the last fight that Lopez would need to win if he was to actually become an undisputed champion.
The Take Over has been falsely claiming undisputed status since overcoming Lomachenko. During fight week Lopez insisted, again, that he’d take on Haney next. Now, it’s a moot matter as Lopez has been knocked off his high perch.
STICKING TO THE PLAN
As many expected, Lopez fired out of his corner like an assassin’s bullet to begin the first. Trouble was, he was unable to hurt his mark. Even worse, his over aggression got him clipped and dropped by a looping overhand right. Over the next few rounds the Take Over made zero meaningful adjustments and simply kept coming forward minus any semblance of a jab while looking for one killer knockout punch. This crude and effective tactic allowed Kambosos to pile on points with his sharp jab and counter shots.
The one serious mistake that Ferocious made the entire night, and would haunt him later, was leaving his chin in the air. This defensive glitch allowed Lopez to connect with a bevy of clean right-hands. Although, for the better part of it, Kambosos absorbed them well. The Australian was also doing an excellent job of maintaining a favorable distance.
Not only was Kambosos gobbling up the middle rounds, he was depositing all manner of bumps, bruises and scrapes on Lopez’s face. Then the bout took a sharp turn in the last minute of the ninth when the Take Over significantly buzzed Kambosos with a straight right to the chin.
In the eleventh, Lopez finally landed the shot he was looking for. About a minute in, with his chin hanging in the air, Ferocious was caught and dropped with a thudding, overhand right. Amazingly, Kambosos found a way to survive the period even though he was extremely hurt.
Somewhat punched out, Lopez was unable to maintain his assault in the eleventh. Even worse, the Take Over was saddled with a nasty gash over his left eye. In exciting fashion, the two fought emphatically throughout the twelfth and final round. Kambosos was getting the better of the action, but still being irresponsible with his chin. Meanwhile, Lopez continued to headhunt without setting anything up.
AND THE NEW!
In a shock to many, the fight went to the scorecards with the outcome very much in the air. The final surprise of the night came when the judges awarded Kambosos the win on the road by way of a split decision win. One judge gave it to Lopez 114-113 but was overruled by the second and third ruling of 115-111 and 115-112 for Kambosos.
Lopez displayed very poor sportsmanship by interrupting Kambosos’ post-fight interview to dispute the decision. His own hometown crowd, who cheered him all night, heartily booed his action and words. Ultimately, Ferocious offered Lopez a rematch. However, Lopez insinuated he was going to move up as he’s been threatening to do for quite some time. So it’ll be interesting to see if they rematch or if Kambosos faxes Devin Haney to finally crown an undisputed lightweight champion.
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By: Bakari Simpson