Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos unlikely to happen
By Sean Jones: Teofimo Lopez’s title defense against George Kambosos Jr. is now looking unlikely to happen due to Triller wanting to move the contest to Sydney, Australia, for August 14th.
Mike Coppinger states that Teofimo’s manager Dave McWater is no onboard with moving the fight with Kambosos Jr to Australia due to the 14-day quarantine they would need to deal with.
Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) will sacrifice his IBF 135-lb belt if he must if they attempt to force him to defend against Kamboso in Australia. Because Kambosos is the IBF mandatory, Teofimo would lose his belt if he chose not to go through with the fight.
That’s good for Kambosos because he would stand very little chance of beating Teofimo. That fight was considered a hopeless mismatch and perhaps a good thing that Teofimo will move on.
While it might make a small number of boxing fans unhappy that Teofimo won’t be fighting the little-known Australian Kambosos, the upside is Teo will be facing Vasily Lomachenko in a rematch later this year.
That’s a much better fight for boxing fans worldwide than the Teofimo-Kambosos Jr mismatch.
Teofimo vs. Kambosos not looking good
“I don’t think the fight is going to happen,” said Mike Coppinger to Max On Boxing about the Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Jr fight.
“Dave McWaters, Teofimo’s manager, saying they’d rather give up the [IBF 135-lb] title rather than going to Australia and dealing with that 14-day quarantine.
“Obviously, Lopez is the champion, and they feel he should have the advantage. Triller’s position is, ‘Look; we lost five million dollars; we were going through with the fight. Now, we want to make that money back.’
“Boxing is becoming really big in Australia, and Kambosos is a big attraction; he’s from Sydney. Now there’s a battle with the IBF.
“We’re going to see what the IBF rules on, but I would say at this moment, the [Teofimo vs. Kambosos] fight is not going to happen,” said Coppinger.
The fans won’t care if Teofimo vacates his IBF 135-lb title because he already has the WBA, WBC Franchise, and WBO belt. It’s not as if Teofimo can make more money by holding onto the IBF strap.
He’s better off getting rid of that strap, casting it overboard for Kambosos to dog-paddle after it. Useless straps just weigh Teofimo down, pulling him to the bottom where he’ll have to deal with sharks like Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero.
Outside of a few fans interested in seeing if Kambosos Jr was as good a fighter as he is a talker, there won’t be any sorrow at Teofimo not fighting him.
Kambosos Jr is a limited guy that went life & death with the old-timer’s Lee Selby and Mickey Bey. He beat both of those guys by narrow 12 round split decisions.
We’re talking about a limited fighter here, who the casual boxing fans in the States have never heard of and don’t care about.
That’s why Teofimo will be doing himself a big favor by vacating the IBF strap so that he can concentrate on taking fights that will interest boxing fans.
I don’t know if it was ever suggested by Teofimo’s promoter Bob Arum for him to vacate his IBF belt, but it’s a great idea. Get rid of that thing.
Lopez vs. Lomachenko 2 in late 2021
“What is Teofimo Lopez need with a belt?” said Kellerman. “He is the lightweight champion of the world. Whether or not he brings one of those absurd belts in the ring with him, he won the world championship from Vasily Lomachenko. Does he really care about the IBF belt?”
“I do think these fighters care about the belts, especially when they’re the undisputed champion,” said Coppinger. “Me and you, I’m with you.
“I don’t care about the belts. We know who the champion is. But let’s not forget. Triller was going to pay him [Teofimo] nearly a four million dollar career-high payday.
“That’s gone if he doesn’t take this fight. I’m told the silver lining is if this fight doesn’t happen, as I predict, Top Rank is now discussing Lomachenko vs. Lopez 2, possibly before the end of this year. I love that rematch,” said Coppinger.
“I love that rematch, too,” said Kellerman. “That’s much more dangerous. Kambosos is a good fighter, but Lomachenko is a great fighter, and it appears so Teofimo Lopez.
“Lomachenko gave him a first time. He lost, but it was a good fight. These are two of the best fighters in the division. The rematch should be even better.
“I love the idea of a Lopez – Lomachenko rematch, hopefully right here on ESPN. There’s still a chance that it can be right here on the network. Correct, Mike?
“If the Kambosos fight falls through, that [Teofimo vs. Lomachenko] could be on ESPN. We could be working that fight,” said Kellerman.
“That would definitely be on ESPN, and like you, I scored that fight pretty closely,” said Coppinger about the Lomachenko vs. Teofimo fight last October.
“I thought Lomachenko was excellent down the stretch once he realized he was running out of time. I think the rematch will be an even better fight,” said Coppinger.
Teofimo vs. Lomachenko 2 will be a big moneymaker for November or December on ESPN PPV. There’s already a lot of interest from boxing fans in seeing those two battle again.
Teofimo beat Lomachenko last October by a 12 round unanimous decision in an exciting fight.
Since then, Lomachenko has bounced back with an impressive ninth round knockout win over Masayoshi Nakatani last June 26th.
Lomachenko took Nakatani to school, knocking him down in the fifth round and finishing him off in the ninth.
Lomachenko defeated Nakatani in a much better fashion than Teofimo had two years earlier in 2019, which showed the improvements he’s made.
Kambosos Jr can always fight for the vacated IBF title against Isac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz. He’s going to need a lot of luck against Cruz because that guy is tough, and he’ll force Kambosos Jr into a real dog fight.
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