George Kambosos Jr stunned the boxing world as the magical Madison Square Garden played host to another huge boxing upset.
Two and a half years ago Andy Ruiz defied the odds and science to dethrone Anthony Joshua’s reign as a three-belt heavyweight champion. Last night inside MSG’s smaller Hulu Theatre the mighty Kambosos backed up his pre-fight talk to send Brooklyn’s Teofimo Lopez back home belt-less after losing his four world lightweight titles in his first defence.
A fight that had more postponements than a soap opera wedding hit the ground running from the opening bell. The champion had bad intentions written all over his face as he came out swinging for the head of his IBF mandatory challenger. The New York Yankees might have been more impressed with his form because from a boxing point of view it was wild and reckless from a man who just over a year ago caused his own upset defeating Vasiliy Lomachenko in Las Vegas.
The 5,000 crowd in attendance roared in disbelief when Lopez was dropped by a counter right hand in the remaining seconds of the first round. The 28-year-old Kambosos decided to fight fire with fire and took all that Lopez could dish out throughout the fight. In the 10th round the Aussie seemed to be finally beaten when the champion landed a heavy right hand to drop the lightweight iron man. The challenge from down under appeared to be wilting but through will and grit he rose and survived the remaining 100 seconds. And in the final two rounds it was the huge betting underdog who shook off his knockdown and went back at Lopez proving he would not be denied on a thrilling night for the sport and a memorable one for Australian boxing.
The elation poured out of Kambosos as the split decision verdict was announced. Sadly, the beaten Lopez claimed he had won 10 rounds out of the scheduled 12 in an unplanned shared post-fight interview. None of that matters now because the fact is the lightweight division has a new king and both Lopez Jr and Sr (his father and trainer) are now having to eat some New York humble pie.
Main image: Matchroom Boxing