Next weekend sees the return of the undisputed lightweight king, Teofimo Lopez, as he takes on George Kambosos Jr in a lightweight contest for the WBA Super, WBO and IBF world titles.
In what will be the champion's first fight on Triller, Lopez takes on fellow undefeated youngster, George Kambosos Jr. Both men boast impeccable records, with a combined 35 wins including 22 by way of knockout. Although Lopez goes into the bout as the overriding favourite, make no mistake that Kambosos is most certainly a live opponent and will come to win and upset the apple cart.
Who will win the battle of the undefeated lightweights come June 19th? (Photo: fightsports.tv)
Although Lopez isn’t facing one of his fellow ‘Four Kings’ quartet, this fight most definitely whets the appetite of boxing fans and is one we can all get behind this coming weekend.
In one corner we have the champion, Teofimo Lopez. The 23-year-old is making the walk to the ring for the first time in 2021, since his against the odds victory over Vasyl Lomachenko last time out at the back end of last year.
The Brooklyn star shocked the world in October when he defeated arguably the pound-for-pound best fighter on the planet in Lomachenko, and cases can most certainly be made for having ‘Teo’ right near the top of the P4P rankings now himself, despite being just 23-years-old.
Lopez’s resume is an impressive one. Even before dethroning ‘Loma’, Lopez had some great notable wins against the likes of Masayoshi Nakatani, who he beat via unanimous decision, and a devastating second round knockout of Richard Commey when he became the IBF world lightweight champion. At just 23-years-old, Lopez has proved to boxing fans that he is most definitely the future of boxing, and arguably the present too.
The win over Lomachenko was simply magnificent. Not many gave the 5”8 orthodox fighter much of a chance in the fight, but he most definitely proved the world wrong and put on a clinical performance, bullying the smaller man and comprehensively dethroning the then best fighter on the planet. However, that is all in the past now, and the fight against Kambosos Jr on Saturday week is all that matters for the 16-0 king of the lightweights.
Teofimo Lopez is coming off the back of a career best win over Vasyl Lomachenko (Photo: Sky Sports)
The champion undoubtedly goes into the fight as the overriding favourite, and rightly so. Kambosos Jr is an entirely different proposition compared to ‘Loma’, in terms of his height and reach advantage, however not boxing ability. Lopez will most definitely fancy his chances of getting the Australian out of there inside the distance, but that is easier said than done with a man who doesn’t know how to lose and himself has dreams of becoming the best fighter in the lightweight division.
Despite having the potential mega-fights in the not so distant future against the likes of Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis, Lopez knows he cannot take his eyes off Kambosos Jr next Saturday. At the press conference in April, ‘Teo’ said:
“This is someone that’s in front of me, he’s in my way at the moment.
“I’ve been in the big leagues. I’ve been in with guys who have the experience. But I don’t overlook nobody that I face. I’m only getting better. The Lomachenko fight helped me a lot. I have more things in my arsenal that this guy’s not going to see coming.”
In the other corner you’ve got the challenger, George Kambosos Jr. Like Lopez, this is his first fight this year, also coming off the back of a mightily impressive win in October 2020 when he came to the UK and put on a clinical performance in defeating Lee Selby. Although Kambosos is a huge underdog with the bookmakers, he will most certainly fancy his chances of dethroning the champion and throwing his name in the mix of the elites at 135-pounds.
As already mentioned, last time out Kambosos put in a clinical performance beating Britain’s Lee Selby, in a fight which he was again the underdog. The 27-year-old then became mandatory for Lopez’s IBF title, which is how he has got the shot next weekend at dethroning the number one fighter at 135-pounds.
One interesting factor come fight night could be the size advantage of Kambosos Jr. The Australian man stands at 5”9 ½, which is an inch and a half taller than Lopez. This is unknown territory for the champion, as he is seen as quite a big lightweight, and is usually the one who has the considerable size advantage over his opponents.
Kambosos Jr believes he has the tools to defeat Lopez next weekend (Photo: Sporting News)
‘Ferocious’ boasts an impeccable record of 19-0, including ten wins coming inside the distance, so it is evident that the Sydney man is a hard puncher as well as a proven winner. Kambosos knows he will need to produce a career best performance next weekend if he is to stand any chance of beating Lopez, but stranger things have happened and only time will tell how the fight will go down on Saturday night.
Filled with confidence that he is going to get the job done on Saturday June 19th, Kambosos told Yahoo Sport that he will exploit holes in Lopez’s game:
“Absolutely 100% I am leaving with those belts,” Kambosos said. “There are holes in his game and things I will be able to take advantage of and you will see that on June 19.”
It’s undefeated vs undefeated, champion vs challenger, Lopez vs Kambosos Jr. Who will get their hand raised in victory in this unified lightweight championship fight?
Vasyl Lomachenko – WIN – UD (116-112, 119-109, 117-111)
Richard Commey – WIN – TKO Round 2
Masayoshi Nakatani – WIN – UD (118-110, 119-109, 118-110)
Edis Tatli – WIN – KO Round 5
George Kambosos Jr
Lee Selby – WIN – SD (114-115, 118-110, 116-112)
Mickey Bey – WIN – SD (94-95, 97-92, 96-93)
Richard Pena – WIN – TKO Round 6
Rey Perez– WIN – UD (80-72, 80-72, 80-72)
Date: Saturday June 19th 2021
Time: Ring walk approx. 3.00am GMT
Venue: LoanDepot Park, Miami, Florida, USA
Channel: Triller (US) / Fite TV (UK)
Official fight poster (Photo: @TeofimoLopez on Twitter)
Elsewhere on the card, Andy Vences takes on Jono Carroll in a super-featherweight contest, Michael Hunter faces Mike Wilson in a heavyweight bout, and Franchon Crews Dezurn and Elin Cederroos clash for all of the belt at super-middleweight, to see who becomes the undisputed female at 168-pounds.