APPARENTLY Apparently, “The Takeover” was quite brief and wasn’t here for good?
Teofimo Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) came into the fight against George Kambosos Jr., the defending champion and a heavy 9-1 favorite.
Just fresh off a scintillating and impressive victory over the formidable Vasyl Lomachenko—the erstwhile pound-for-pound king—Lopez seemed invincible: Young, strong, fast and supremely confident.
All that came crashing down Nov. 28 (PH time) as Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent memory, defeating Lopez via split decision.
THE FIGHT. In the very first round, Lopez came out firing bombs, evidently eager to follow through on his ambitious first round KO prediction.
But horror of horrors, a quick overhand right from Kambosos landed midway through the round and Lopez was down.
He seemed more shocked than hurt as he got up, but that punch changed the complexion of the fight for both fighters.
For Lopez, though he still pursued Kambosos with aggression, that punch brought about enough trepidation for him to realize that he could not just wade in carelessly as Kambosos had the power to take him out.
Ergo, even in the 10th when Lopez finally managed to even the score by knocking down Kambosos with a right hand of his own, he was never able to sustain that offensive charge and Kambosos recovered well enough to win the last two rounds.
For Kambosos, that knockdown gave him the gumption to match Lopez punch for punch, which translated into a sense of growing confidence as the fight went on.
LOPEZ. In our previous column, though I predicted a Lopez knockout, I averred that he still had to prove that he wasn’t just a one-hit wonder with his Loma victory.
Indeed, you are only as good as your last fight and this time out Lopez came up short.
I am not one to write off a fighter just because of his first career loss, and Lopez still has so much potential.
Post-fight, his team hinted of a possible move to a higher weight class as he apparently has been struggling to make the 135 limit and this could be a good career move.
If he stays, fans would love for him to rematch Kambosos and even Lomachenko, so he still has a lot of box-office drawing power. He just needs to get back to the drawing board, refocus and try again.
For Kambosos, he just recently referred to himself as the new emperor of the lightweight division, and rightly so. There are so many huge matchups to be made at this weight, with Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia and even Lomachenko, all ready to test his mettle.
Truly, the lightweight division is one of the deepest in the sport right now.
LAST ROUND. Are on the Gorne Family on the opening of Pearl 101 Bubble Tea shop. Cheers!
December 01, 2021
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