Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jnr., Thoughts After Both Media Workouts
When and Where: Saturday, June 19th, 9 PM EST at Miami’s loanDepot Park, home of the Miami Marlines
Where To Get Tickets: Ticket Information
Though we have had big fights in 2021, none have gone through the pomp-and-circumstance like Teofimo Lopez vs George Kambosos Jnr., as the traditional two-weeks out, media day has returned for the mega-fight.
Lopez, who holds a version of each lightweight title, the IBF, WBA, WBO, Ring Magazine and WBC, albeit some dispute it since Lopez is the franchise champion, is eager to headline his first pay-per-view after his historic win over Vasyl Lomachenko, who was considered one of the best fighters in the sport.
The FTWR Brand gear is made, the camp is near completion, and the talk of boxing in 2021, Lopez, is looking to take his talents to Miami, as Lopez faces a fighter who has spent his last few camps training in Florida, in Kambosos Jnr.
“One thing I’d like to clear up, the other guys in my division had four months to send me a contract and not one
did. So, it all became George Kambosos at the end,” said Teofimo Lopez to a room full of media. “I became world champion and undisputed and I want to let everyone know, I don’t duck or dodge anyone. With Kambosos, I’m not overlooking my competition but I’m looking straight through him.”
So how’d we get here that one of Top Rank Inc’s biggest stars is now fighting on Triller, a social media app, that is now putting on boxing shows, and recently bought streaming service provider, FITE.TV.
It begins, earlier in 2021, in which Lopez and Kambosos Jnr went to purse bid, as the offer put forth by Lopez’s promoter, Top Rank, didn’t suit his fancy. The purse bid had three bids, with Triller winning, Matchroom USA coming in second, and Top Rank coming in last, Top Rank of course being Lopez’s promoter.
Since then, verbal jabs have been thrown out to the media, but it appears that Lopez and Top Rank President Todd DuBoef, are not the closest of friends, and Lopez has made it clear on every occasion to wear Triller gear to each and every event he attends, or even media interviews.
“Triller is very driven and they really want to make their mark. We can talk about different things on the
promotional side and they make it happen,” said Lopez. “With the boxing and the artists performing it’s a phenomenal collaboration. It’s great for the sport of boxing, it’s all entertainment at the end of the day. I’m not a fighter or a boxer, I’m an entertainer.”
Lopez, along with Shakur Stevenson, Jared Anderson, and Gabe Flores Jr., are the next generation of Top Rank, and for Lopez to taking his earning potential away from the industry giant, was a major statement, and a story, some fans found more interesting than boxing matches, themselves.
Lopez has also taken fire for his claim of undisputed as Devin Haney was elevated from interim WBC lightweight champion to becoming the full-fledged world champion, after Vasyl Lomachenko became the WBC lightweight franchise champion. These claims will always merit the same answer from Lopez who concisely answered the question below in a tweet.
‘I’m undisputed at 135, Taylor is undisputed at 140. Hopefully we can make that fight happen and I can become
two-time undisputed. That’s the goal,” said Lopez in response to critcism around his view of himself as undisputed. “I’ve been so focused on myself lately but as far as Josh Taylor or Jose Ramirez put them in front of me and I’ll beat them. Josh Taylor did what he to do, it was a great fight and a great event. The whole thing for me is making those type of fights happen. Sixteen fights in, I never said no to any fight. It’s up to these other guys to step up. They’re already talking about moving up to 147 and I can already sense the urgency in not wanting to fight me.”
Lopez has now begun to enter into the star category of a Tyson Fury, or Canelo Alvarez, but PPV will now be the second battle of the night, as the four-hour telecast that will start at 9 PM EST local time, and go into the early morning. That being said, mostly are largely overlooking his opponent, Kambosos Jr., who earned a world title shot with a win over Lee Selby that was razor-close, but saw Kambosos walk away with victory, and the #1 contendership for IBF lightweight world title held by Lopez.
Kambosos has done everything right, a tough fighter, who worked his way up the ranks from fighting in Australia to moving to America for Manny Pacquiao’s training camps, before relocating to Florida, and working with Javiel Centeno and being advised by Peter Kahn. Kambosos has created his own opportunities instead of waiting for them.
Kambosos is a blood-and-guts warrior, one who you know will give an honest effort, to each and every fight he is in. Kambosos has been in the ring for 119 rounds across 19 professional bouts, with a 52 % KO percentage. In Kambosos’ last two fights, the toughest of his career against Mickey Bey, and Lee Selby, it is interesting to note that both bouts ended in a split decision, that he got the nod in. One thing to take away from that is, that at that time, the next level of competition perfectly matched his skillset, and his will was the difference in each bout.
Kambosos’ is the betting underdog for a reason, but Kambosos’ is also a fighter who was not gifted this shot at Lopez, as he moved away from Australia, and looked for any-and-all ways to make his dream possible, and his investment in himself, paid off.
We are now heading down the homestretch of Triller Fight Club’s first PPV which is headlined by modern boxers, that won’t capitalize on celebrity status outside of the sport (Logan Paul) or nostalgia (Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr). This is Triller first true foray into the sport of boxing as competitor to the major promoters, and it will be interesting to see how this card plays out, as the media tour ramps up towards fight week.