Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jr: Brooklyn brawler to give challenger beatdown

Victory for Lopez will set up a mouth-watering lightweight rematch against Vasiliy Lomachenko...

In his first fight since becoming unified lightweight champion, Teofimo Lopez will put his WBA, IBF and WBO titles on the line against mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr.

The fight, which has been delayed twice, is expected to take place on August 14 as it stands despite rumours of it being moved to September 11.

Having initially been pencilled in for June 5 and then moved to June 19, Lopez's positive test for Covid-19 has ensured yet another delay.

It was originally scheduled to take place at the LoanDepot Park in Miami. A new venue has yet to be confirmed for this lightweight encounter.

Lopez surprised many with his dominant points win over the seriously skilled Vasiliy Lomachenko in November of last year. "El Brooklyn" will now come up against Kambosos in what many view as more of a keep busy bout rather than a true examination of the 23-year-old's burgeoning credentials.

Indeed, oddsmakers certainly agree with that sentiment, pricing Lopez at odds of around 1/9 to retain his titles against the unbeaten Australian.

Kambosos, 28, earned his mandatory spot with a split decision victory against Britain's former IBF featherweight world champion Lee Selby on the undercard of Derek Chisora's defeat to Oleksandr Usyk last Halloween. Kambosos has won all 19 of his fights at professional level.

A quick night for Lopez?

Lopez, the brash-talking New Yorker, insists a quick night's work should be expected when these two finally get it on later this summer.

"I think that he's a strong fighter, hungry fighter, someone that's gonna want to come in aggressive, you know, and it's gonna be a good fight.

"It's gonna be one of those fights that you guys see toe-to-toe. And it's one of those types of events where this guy is one of those guys that has to prove something to himself, and this guy, he still has to prove something himself. So it's gonna be a great matchup" Lopez explained.

"It won't go past three, and that's what I stay on... I'm even thinking about putting money on it. So yeah, Kambosos, you're going down within three." he added.

Teofimo Lopez is the current unified lightweight champion [photo credit: Mikey Williams]
Teofimo Lopez is the current unified lightweight champion [photo credit: Mikey Williams]

Perhaps David Haye, who found himself in hot water with British boxing authorities when discussing his betting success in scoring a third round KO of Audley Harrison, should send Lopez a little warning about the potential pitfalls of speaking in such terms.

Beyond the betting bravado, Lopez's confidence is unlikely to be misplaced although Kambosos Jr. was quick to pull his punches when discussing his own expectations of the upcoming bout.

"Lopez is a fugazi, a fraud, a fake. He's got a fake persona filled with contradictions. Two months ago, he was talking about how gone Pacquiao was, now he's all over him because of the Spence fight announcement. What you see with me is real and what you get is real."

"I've sparred over 250 rounds with Manny Pacquiao, he told me if I'm as good against Lopez as I was in the gym against him that I'll be victorious and take home all the belts."

While sparring and fighting are vastly different arenas, there can be little doubt that training with a great like Manny Pacquiao can only prove to be a valuable experience for the Sydney-born pugilist.

It's going to take something extraordinary for Kambosos to upset the oddsmakers here, especially when you look at Lopez's previous performance against Lomachenko - a former three-division world champion and Pound for Pound best.

With talk of a rematch now heightened following Lomachenko's impressive ninth round KO of Masayoshi Nakatani, Lopez will want to deliver another impressive display to ensure he enters any potential negotiations with Loma as the undoubted number one in the division.

Tale of the tape

Name: Teofimo Lopez

Nickname: "The Takeover"

Residence: Brooklyn, New York, USA

Pre-fight record: 16-0

Stance: Orthodox

Weight: 135lbs

Height: 5'8"

Reach: 68"

Rounds boxed: 72

KO percentage: 75%

Name: George Kambosos Jr.

Nickname: "Ferocious"

Residence: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Pre-fight record: 19-0 (10 KOs)

Stance: Orthodox

Weight: 135lbs

Height: 5'9"

Reach: 68"

Rounds boxed: 118

KO percentage: 53%

Where and when?

Teofimo Lopez will make his first title defence as the undisputed lightweight champion against George Kambosos Jr at a venue and date yet to be confirmed.

What's on the line?

Almost everything. The WBA (Super), WBO, IBF, The Ring and lineal lightweight championships will be up for grabs.

Where can I watch it?

Triller will broadcast the bout live in the US after beating ESPN in the purse bids. Fite TV has already picked up streaming rights for European and UK viewers. Lopez will earn a reported $3.9million for the fight.

Where's the value?

Not much in terms of the win market, unless you fancy the upset, of course. Kambosos is a wide betting underdog at around 6/1, with the champion entering as short as 1/9 with various bookmakers to retain his titles.

With a 75% KO ratio, Lopez can certainly bang and given Kambosos aggressive and come-forward style, this fight looks unlikely to go the distance.

While the Australian should not be underestimated in this title contest, Lopez's superior skills and experience should ensure he keeps hold of his titles in what could be a short and potentially explosive bout.

We're backing the Brooklyn brawler to maintain his grip on the 135lb division with a midway stoppage against a game but ultimately over-matched challenger.

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