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Results and highlights: George Kambosos Jr shocks the world, upsets Teofimo Lopez

There’s a new unified lightweight champion in boxing, and his name is George Kambosos Jr.

Teofimo Lopez v George Kambosos
George Kambosos celebrates his split decision win against Teofimo Lopez.
Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Boxing’s 2021 Upset of the Year has been locked in and there are no close competitors. After many postponements stemming from Triller shenanigans to a COVID-19 positive test, the lightweight title fight between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos Jr figured to be a lopsided fight on paper in favor of Teofimo.

In reality? Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) pulled off the shocker of all shockers, traveling into enemy territory to take the WBA, IBF, WBC (franchise), and WBO belts away from Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) in a thrilling split decision in front of a stunned partisan crowd at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Australian scored a knockdown in the first round, survived a knockdown in the 10th round, and generally just outboxed Lopez and beat him up more than Teofimo beat Kambosos up. It was a sensational war, a fight no one could’ve expected (other than Kambosos and his team, perhaps), and against all odds there’s a new unified champion at 135 lbs.

Kambosos was as much as a +800 underdog in some betting syndicates, whereas Lopez was -900 and higher. This wasn’t supposed to be competitive on paper. It was supposed to be a regular mandatory title defense. And it turned into a nightmare for Lopez and a dream realized for George.

This is why we love combat sports.

Official result: George Kambosos Jr def. Teofimo Lopez by split decision (115-111, 113-114, 115-112) to become new unified lightweight champion (WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC franchise)

There was anything but a feel-out process in the opening round. Kambosos was there to be aggressive as expected but he was getting tagged quite a bit by Lopez, who seemed hellbent on getting an early KO and showed little respect for the Aussie. In a dramatic turn of events, a massive right hand by Kambosos put Lopez down with seconds left in the round. Then Kambosos after the knockdown got another right hand in on Lopez before falling over in a slip. Incredible stuff!

It was a little less chaotic over the next couple of rounds. Kambosos was still having success timing Lopez with the right hand, but Lopez was still outboxing him and he shook George with a left hook in the 3rd round, then again with a right hand as the bell sounded. Kambosos showed no fear in there and landed a couple of solid hooks and jabs, and was more than willing to throwdown on the inside with Teofimo and give as much as he took.

As the fight progressed, Kambosos just looked like the flat out better boxer on the night. He was countering Lopez effectively, working behind the jab, and he looked quicker to the punch against a man who outclassed the great Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lopez was cut near his left eye and swelling underneath the right eye. Kambosos was often the one doing the superior body work.

Lopez dug deep and hurt Kambosos in the 9th round with a right hand and a left hook. Credit to Kambosos for showing an exemplary chin as Lopez went on the attack, but ultimately George survived the round.

More drama in the 10th as the same right that rocked Kambosos in the previous frame dropped him in the following round. Lopez went for the finish but could not get the KO, as Kambosos stood up to some heavy firepower. Extraordinarily, Kambosos rallied back to cleanly take the 11th against a tiring Teofimo, whose cut above his left eye was bleeding considerably. The 12th was pretty difficult to call but there’s no doubt that George Kambosos Jr fought the fight of his life, and he deserved the W.

Lopez acted like a complete jerk in the post-fight interview, hijacking Kambosos’ interview to say he won the fight 10 rounds to 2. No he didn’t.

Undercard Results

Kenichi Ogawa def. Azinga Fuzile by unanimous decision (115-110, 115-110, 114-111) to win the vacant IBF super featherweight title

Raymond Ford def. Felix Caraballo by TKO at 2:10 of round 8

Zhilei Zhang def. Craig Lewis by TKO at 2:10 of round 2