Lou DiBella considers a Teofimo Lopez-George Kambosos Jr. rematch inevitable.

Kambosos’ first fight of a new multi-bout co-promotional partnership with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. is scheduled for Saturday night, when he’ll encounter England’s Maxi Hughes. Lopez has long been promoted by Top Rank and has come back from his surprising split-decision defeat to Kambosos in November 2021 by beating previously undefeated Scottish southpaw Josh Taylor to win the WBO junior welterweight title.

Australia’s Kambosos considers himself a 135-pound contender at the moment. DiBella, Kambosos’ longtime promoter, still realizes that a move up to the junior welterweight limit of 140 pounds to oppose Lopez will eventually happen as long as these rivals keep winning.

“I think it’s inevitable at some point,” DiBella told BoxingScene.com. “There was a lot of passion going into that fight and there was a lot of passion coming out of that fight. One way or the other, at some point in the future I believe that fight’s gonna happen again. You know that. Assuming Teofimo doesn’t retire another two or three times, it’ll happen.

“But look, Teofimo is gonna be one of those guys that’s gonna have a tumultuous, fascinating and fun career. And I think for George, Teofimo is always gonna be a fight that’s there. That fight was too much fun the first time for it not to happen again.”

Kambosos dropped Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs) in the first round of their entertaining title fight 19 months ago, got up from a 10th-round knockdown and won their closely contested 12-round, 135-pound championship match on two scorecards at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York (115-112, 115-111, 113-114).

“It was a defining fight for George,” DiBella said. “And there were a lot of heated words spoken on both sides. I think [the rematch is] a natural fight at some point. But George has got no issue with being at ’35 right now. It’s his weight. Let’s see what happens here. Maxi Hughes was intentionally a high-risk, high-reward situation coming off the two fights with Haney.”

Sydney’s Kambosos (20-2, 10 KOs) lost back-to-back 12-round unanimous decisions to Devin Haney (30-0, 15 KOs), the fully unified lightweight champion, in 2022. His 12-round fight with Hughes (26-5-2, 5 KOs) will be contested for Hughes’ IBO lightweight title and will determine the number two contender in the IBF’s 135-pound rankings.

If Kambosos beats Hughes and Haney relinquishes his IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO titles to fight in the 140-pound division, Kambosos likely would fight the IBF’s number one contender, Argentina’s Gustavo Lemos (28-0, 18 KOs), for an unclaimed IBF belt.

“I think if George wins this fight in good fashion he’s right back in there in the top echelon of making a big fight in boxing,” DiBella said. “There’s Teofimo Lopez and there’s a lot of possible directions at 135 and 140. And also, Devin Haney is in the situation where he has to make a decision that is gonna open some things up, possibly. We went with this deal with Top Rank because there are so many big fights in that universe, so there are a lotta different possibilities.”

Hughes has won seven consecutive fights since he lost a 10-round unanimous decision to British southpaw Liam Walsh (23-1, 15 KOs) in November 2019 in London. The unheralded Hughes has outpointed Irish southpaw Jono Carroll (24-2-1, 7 KOs) and England’s Kid Galahad (28-3, 17 KOs) during his winning streak.

“I haven’t seen George this settled and together and ready for a fight in years,” DiBella said. “That being said, he’s lost two fights in a row and he’s fighting a very tough guy to fight. Maxi Hughes is a very good boxer. … Look at who he beat and who he wasn’t supposed to beat. He’s a good fighter. It’s a ballsy comeback fight for George.”

ESPN will air Kambosos-Hughes as the main event of a two-fight telecast set to start at 10 p.m. EDT on Saturday night from FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis (8-0, 6 KOs), a rising lightweight contender from Norfolk, Virginia, is set to battle Belgium’s Francesco Patera (28-3, 10 KOs) in the 10-round opener of ESPN’s doubleheader.

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.