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IBF orders Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Jr.

Teofimo Lopez

By Chris Williams: The International Boxing Federation has ordered IBF lightweight champion, Teofimo Lopez, to begin negotiations for a fight against his mandatory George Kambosos. The two have until February 6th to get the fight negotiated, or else a purse bid will take place.

This is a fight that Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs), his dad Teofimo Sr, and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum all want.

Arum has been talking about this fight for a while now, as the’s easy money to be made for Teofimo in taking on the popular 27-year-old Kambosos in a stadium fight in his native Australia.

Unlike the danger that Teofimo would be dealing with if he gave Vasily Lomachenko a rematch or fought the other top 135-pounders, Kambosos  (19-0, 10 KOs) is an easy mark.

There’s no danger for Teofimo and good money to be made with the match expected to occur in front of a large audience in Australia. They take boxing seriously in that country.

Teofimo Lopez

Lopez vs. Kambosos obviously won’t resonate with U.S boxing fans, but it’s a good way for Top Rank and Teofimo to make money the easy way. The best part is it helps keep Teofimo the IBF/WBA/WBC Franchise/WBO champion a little while longer.

Teofimo beat 33-year-old Vasily Lomachenko by a 12 round unanimous decision on October 17th. That was a fight in which the injured Lomachenko didn’t throw punches for the first seven rounds.

But when he did start attacking Teofimo in the eighth, he was routing him and had him gassed and stressed out. Luckily for Teofimo, he had built up a large enough lead in the first seven rounds to get the win. But the fight showed clearly that Lomachenko would have beaten him if he’d let his hands go in the first half of the fight.

“It’s confirmed from the IBF saying that the fight now has to take place. It is good, it puts pressure on Lopez. I have earned my shot, and he has to fight me,” Kambosos said to the WA Today earlier on Saturday.

”We have been negotiating with Lopez manager and Top Rank since I beat Lee Selby.  We are pushing for me and Lopez fighting for all the belts and for it to be here in Australia, that’s the most important thing.”

Kambosos looked horrible in barely edging Lee Selby by a controversial 12 round split decision on October 31st at the Wembley Arena. Selby looked like the better fighter of the two, but it wasn’t surprising that Kambosos got the win. He brings in big crowds in Australia.

Interestingly, Teofimo, his dad, and Arum aren’t pushing for the rematch with Lomachenko. You can take that whatever way you want to, but Chris Williams sees it as a sign of respect for Lomachenko and fear.

It doesn’t look like Teofimo fancies his chance against a motivated and healthy Lomachenko in a rematch. The way Lomachenko has been talking lately, he wants to embarrass Lopez and expose him as an over-hyped, trash-talking phony.

You’re not going to hear Arum comparing Teofimo with a young Muhammad Ali like he’d been doing with Lomachenko. Teofimo is a popular guy with charisma, who somehow can make weight for his fights at 135.

Teofimo Lopez

If Teofimo were forced to fight in the right weight class for his body size, 140, he’d have major problems trying to beat Jose Ramirez, Josh Taylor, and Regis Prograis.

It’ll be interesting to see how much longer Teofimo can continue to meet down to 135 to fight against smaller guys than himself.

Teofimo has talked boldly about how he’s the best fighter at 135, but now that he got lucky with his win over Lomachenko, he’s shown no interest in taking any risks by fighting the talented fighters. Some boxing fans believe Teofimo is holding the titles hostage and sitting on them like a hen with her eggs.

“I could see myself in front of a packed-out arena with thousands of people watching me become the undisputed lightweight champion of the world with four belts around my waist,” said Kambosos.

Oh boy, Kambosos is really dreaming here. What he should be doing is giving poor Lee Selby a rematch to clear up the controversy surrounding their fight last October because the wrong guy won that fight.




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