LAS VEGAS – Teofimo Lopez cannot wait until the night he finally encounters George Kambosos Jr.
Lopez is certain that the unbeaten Australian contender is incapable of backing up all the tough talk he has directed at him throughout the obnoxiously long buildup toward their lightweight title fight. The undefeated, unified 135-pound champion promised Kambosos during an open workout recently at City Boxing Gym that the mandatory challenger for his IBF title will learn quite quickly November 27 that he operates on an entirely different level than any of the first 19 opponents Kambosos has beaten.
Lopez again predicted a first-round knockout in the main event of a card DAZN will stream from Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York.
“One round, because just to show how all that talking, that don’t work with me,” Lopez told a group of reporters. “We talk, but we back it up. All that talking that you’re doing, you gotta show something. You been in two fights [that resulted in] split decisions. You know, Mickey Bey and then Lee Selby. You know, like, I ain’t a Mickey Bey. I ain’t a Lee Selby. I’m Teofimo Lopez.
“Lomachenko had to find that out the hard way. Richard Commey had to find that out the hard way. All these guys, put ‘em in front of me, they’ll find out the hard way. It’s a different platform when I’m in there, man. It’s a different beast.”
The 28-year-old Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) beat Wales’ Selby by split decision in Kambosos’ most recent fight – a 12-round IBF elimination match a year ago at Wembley Arena in London. Kambosos beat Selby (28-3, 9 KOs) convincingly on two scorecards (118-110, 116-112), but a third judge scored their fight for Selby, 115-114.
In Kambosos’ prior appearance, he beat Bey by split decision in a 10-rounder at Madison Square Garden in December 2019. Two judges scored that fight for Kambosos (97-92, 96-93), who lost to Bey (23-3-1, 11 KOs, 1 NC) on the other card (95-94).
The 24-year-old Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) will end an even longer layoff than Kambosos once they enter the ring for an IBF-mandated title fight that has been rescheduled six times since mid-June. The Brooklyn native last fought in October 2020, when he upset Vasiliy Lomachenko by unanimous decision to win the IBF, WBA, WBO and the WBC franchise 135-pound championships at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.