Monday, November 29, 2021

Lopez vs. Kambosos

By Frank BartoliniRingside

Words, hats and crows were the entries being fed to all the experts, pundits and media inside the Hulu Theater after George Kambosos, Jr, Sydney Australia, clobbered Teofimo Lopez, Brooklyn. N.Y., over twelve rounds to capture the unified WBA, IBF, WBO World Lightweight Championship. All the experts forecasted an early doom for the challenger from "down under."

Booming cheers rang out from the packed house from the opening bell, when Lopez charged out his corner and teed off, landing thudding punches on Kambosos',134.4 lbs., head and body. During all the commotion, no one seemed to notice Lopez blows were not having much effect on Kambosos. While most of Lopez's opponents collapsed under these blasts, Kambosos waited for his chance. That moment came with seconds left in round one, when Kambosos connected with a perfectly timed counter right hand over Lopez’s left jab. Lopez,135 lbs., went down on both knees. Upon getting up, he managed to return to his corner.

Midway through the contest, the expected blowout victory by Lopez was not occurring. In fact, Kambosos was in the lead. Believing the headlines going into battle, Lopez had no game plan, and when the predicted destruction never happened, Kambosos applied a well thought out strategy of counters and movement. As his confidence grew, Kambosos then started taking it to Lopez and backing him into the ropes.

Scoring a good combination at the conclusion of round six, Kambosos danced and laughed at Lopez before returning to his corner. Suffering a cut eye in round seven did not deter Kambosos as he battered Lopez with overhand rights to the head.

Even though Kambosos was getting the better of the action, both combatants absorbed a good deal of punishment. Lopez got through with two rights to the chin that dropped Kambosos in the tenth. A testament to this grueling battle showed through the lumps, scraps, and cuts on the warriors' faces. A Kambosos right hand opened a nasty cut around Lopez’s left eye in the eleventh. Seasoned referee Harvey Dock had to halt the action to have the ringside physician check out the damage. Covered in blood, Lopez appeared to have walked off the set of a horror movie. After a long period of scrutiny, the doctor let it continue. 

Leaving their corners for the final round, each boxer knew the fight was on the line. Fans stood and screamed the entire session of the ebb and flow as momentum shifted back and forth. The walls were shaking from the roar of the crowd when the final bell rang.

What looked like a clear victory for the Australian, had many people wondering out loud if Kambosos could get a fair shake from the judges in New York. Ring announcer David Diamante gave the answer when he declared Kambosos the new champion by split decision victory by scores of 115-112 , 115-111 in his favor, and 114-113 for Lopez. Leaving the ring without his belts Lopez's record is now 16-1, 12 KOs. Remaining undefeated, the new lightweight king Kambosos slate stands at 20-0, 10 KOs.

In a roundabout way that has been well documented, Eddie Hearn's Matchroom Boxing USA promoted the standing room only show that was broadcast on DAZN.

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