Is George Kambosos Jr. the #1 lightweight or Vasily Lomachenko?
By Sean Jones: George Kambosos Jr’s recent miracle upset win over Teofimo Lopez last November earned him four belts and the distinction of being the undisputed lightweight champion of the world.
Many knowledgable feel that Kambosos’ win doesn’t make him #1. It just means he was capable of beating a fighter that should have been in the hospital that night rather than inside a boxing ring.
Sean Jones rates the top lightweights in this order:
1. Vasily Lomachenko
2. Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis
3. Michel Rivera
4. Ryan Garcia
5. Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz
6. Jorge Linares
7. Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero
8. Devin Haney
9. Richard Commey
10. George Kambosos Jr.
Kambosos is a good primary-level fighter, but he’s clearly NOT the best or even within the top five. A healthy Teofimo would have destroyed Kambosos in one round in Sean Jones’ estimation.
Despite Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) winning all those belts, he didn’t prove that he’s the #1 fighter in the weight class at 135.
If anything, Kambosos showed that he could defeat an injured, weight-drained, poorly coached Teofimo, who was a physical and mental wreck during their fight on November 27th.
Teofimo (16-1, 12 KOs) stood very little chance of beating anyone that night, looking terribly drained at the weigh-in and dealing with lung and esophagus problems.
Has Kambosos done enough to earn the #1 spot?
Chris Mannix: “The dust has settled in the lightweight division after a month of fights featuring the top 135 pound fighters in the world,” Chris said to DAZN’s JABS.
“We have a new unified champion in George Kambosos, but I’ll as you this. After the shakeup in the last week, who is the new #1 in the lightweight division?”
Sergio Mora: “There’s only one #1 fighter in the world, and he’s the top dog right now, and he lives down under, George Kambosos Jr.
He’s the man that beat the man [Teofimo Lopez] that beat the man [Vasily Lomachenko], and that makes him the man. The lineal champion George Kambosos is #1 in my book.”
Mannix: “Okay, George Kambosos, all the respect in the world for beating Teofimo Lopez.
You have most of the recognized titles at lightweight, but I don’t know you watched the fight this past weekend [between Loma and Richard Commey] and thought Vasily Lomachenko is the #1 guy at 135 pounds.
“Lomachenko followed up with a complete destruction of [Masayoshi] Nakatani by blowing out Richard Commey.
“This is a fight that officially went to a decision, but it only went that far because Lomachenko got a conscience or something in the seventh round and did something I’ve never seen before, which is to look at the corner of Commey twice and say, ‘Are you going to stop this?’
“Now Commey got himself a second wind and was able to finish the fight, but Lomachenko completely dominated. In this past year, in two fights at 135 [Commey and Nakatani], we have seen Lomachenko look strong, look fast and showcase a really good chin.
So for all those reasons, even without a title, I think Lomachenko is the #1 guy at lightweight.”
Do belts matter?
Mora: “No, because belts matter, history matters, and the fact that you beat the man that beat the man matters. This is all lineal; it matters. George Kambosos is #1, and everything else can be subjective.
“I thought Lomachenko looked sensational [against Commey]. At 33-years-old, he’s still doing what he shouldn’t be doing. He’s a smaller guy fighting these longer, taller, stronger fighters. Richard Commey was the real deal.
“He was a former champion, strong, motivated, so you got to give him credit. No, Lomachenko didn’t give him a pass. He just couldn’t stop him. That’s just what happens.”
Mannix: “He didn’t give him a pass,” said Chris about Lomachenko not letting Commey survive on purpose. “Stop it.”
Mora: “If you look at Roy Jones Jr’s past fights against Vinny Pazienza, Bryant Brannon, and many others, when you’re that gifted, you look at the referee to stop the fight because you know what you’re about to do.
“That’s what happened in this fight here. Loma didn’t give him a pass.”
Mannix: “Stop it, Loma gave him a pass,” said Chris in insisting that Lomachenko allowed Commey to survive in the seventh. “If Lomachenko had gone all out in the seventh round, he would have stopped Richard Commey.
“Yes, he would have. Richard Commey was a beaten man in that seventh round. For whatever reason, Lomachenko decided to let him off the hook a little bit.
“I understand belts matter, and for George Kambosos, they matter a lot because they mean a whole lot of money coming his way over the next couple of fights.
“But they’re not relevant when assessing who the #1 guy is at 135. If Kambosos and Lomachenko fought right now, who would you pick?”
George Kambosos is still unproven
Mora: “I would favor Lomachenko slightly because I think highly of him, but that doesn’t mean he’s #1 until he proves it because he got beat by Teofimo, and Teofimo got beat by Kambosos. That’s the order, and that’s what I’m sticking to.”
Mannix: “Okay, if you get one win, that makes you the top guy? Remember, Kambosos’ two previous wins came against Mickey Bey and Lee Selby, whereas Lomachenko has been running through multiple divisions over the last couple of years.
“He picked up a lightweight title by going to the UK and beating Luke Campbell. He has been very good for a very long time. I don’t know how you can think that one win makes you #1.
“Lomachenko against any of these guys at 135. Anything can happen, of course, but going into the fights, is there anybody that you would favor against Lomachenko?”
Mora: “Maybe Teofimo again?” said Sergio in who he would favor against Lomachenko.
Mannix: “Teofimo is gone. Say goodbye to Teofimo.”
Mora: “Teofimo can still make that weight. He can bring in the strength training team. You see how fickle you are?”
Mannix: “He [Teofimo] says he’s gone. His dad says he’s gone [from the 135-lb division]. ”
Mora: “Okay, let them say you can’t.”
Mannix: “They did.”
Is Kambosos’ enough to beat Tank or Loma?
Mora: “When it comes to Kambosos, we know what he can do when he’s motivated when he’s hungry.
“He’s not going to get rid of those belts. He just shook up the world. He got a taste of that good life. He’s not going to give it away anymore.
“Lomachenko is great, but he’s a smaller great. Anytime you have a great bigger fighter and a great smaller fighter, you know the great bigger fighter wins.
“Kambosos is a natural lightweight his entire career, and he has the goods, the game plan, and the strategy to follow it all the way to the end like we saw with Teofimo Lopez. So Lomachenko might be favored slightly, but Kambosos is #1, that’s it.”
Mannix: “Who’s bigger, who’s physically bigger, Kambosos or Lomachenko?”
Mannix: “Okay, you’ve seen the two of them?”
Mora: “Yes, I have seen them in person. Lomachenko, he’s a small fighter. He came up from 126. He’s muscular on top, but he’s shorter, smaller, and he doesn’t carry. Look, we’re not having this discussion. Kambosos is #1.
“Lomachenko, I think pound-for-pound is a great fighter. What he did was sensational, but you can’t get rid of the fact that he [Kambosos] won the Ring championship, the lineal championship, and he has all the belts. You got to respect that.”
Mannix: “I’m going to have Teofimo text you directly and say he’s done at 140. Then will you believe it?”
Mora: “Then you can take over the conversation. Yes, Mannix.”
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- Bill Haney: “Kambosos fights off ego”