On a weekend that featured two fight of the year candidates about an hour apart. Picking a fighter of the week becomes a daunting task. However when one of those fights of the year candidates are also a contender for upset of the year and features an upset of last year’s Fighter of the Year. The choice becomes more clear. George Kambosos scored an upset for the ages at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden, to capture the WBA/IBF/WBO and The Ring magazine titles as well as, according to WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman, the WBC belt as well. Kambosos scored a stunning split decision victory to move his record to 20-0 (10), takes home the Fighter of the Week award and puts himself in the catbird seat in the lightweight division, and can await and select gis next big money fight.
Teofimo Lopez entered the ring at MSG looking to send a message to the lightweight division and particularly Devin Haney. He predicted a first-round knockout and approached the fight looking for just that. The only issue is that Kambosos didn’t seem to care about Lopez’s homecoming or prediction and dropped an overly aggressive Lopez with a perfect overhand right hand in the opening round. Lopez quickly got up and settled down. If you thought Lopez was the superior fighter and would instantly flip the switch. Turns out, the knockdown was not a fluke but a sign of things to come. The Australian dominated many of the early and mid rounds and opened up a lead on the scorecards. Lopez rallied to win the eighth and ninth rounds and scored a thudding knockdown in the 10th. It looked like he may have rebounded enough that he could steal the fight if he won the championship rounds. However, the undefeated underdog survived the 10th-round knockdown, and just when it looked like the Australian was letting it slip, he got going and dominated the final six minutes won the championship rounds outworking and outlanding the champion and securing the decision victory. With two judges scoring for the challenger 115-112 and 115-111 and the third favoring Lopez 114-113.
Kambosos is going to have a litany of great options for his next fight. He says he wants to fight back in Australia in front of 80,000 fans. That can certainly be an option. He has also been called out by Ryan Garcia who said he wants to fight him next. That would make for a huge fight. Devin Haney and Jo Jo Diaz do battle this weekend and the two winners would face-off. That would remove all doubt and the winner without a doubt would be the legitimate undisputed lightweight champion. There will also be an option of rematching with Teofimo Lopez. That however seems to be the least likely of the mentioned options. Lopez will likely move up to 140 and look to rebuild in 2022.