George Kambosos Jr stuns Teófimo López for unified lightweight title in seismic upset | Boxing


Australia’s George Kambosos Jr won the IBF, WBA and WBO lightweight titles from Teófimo López in a seismic upset on Saturday night at the Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The unheralded Sydney native, who went off as a 6-1 underdog, dropped López in the opening round, then came off the floor himself in the 10th before winning a split decision. Two of the ringside judges handed down scores 115-112 and 115-111 for Kambosos while the third scored it 114-113 for López. (The Guardian had it 114-112 to Kambosos.)

It was the upset of the year and, quite possibly, the fight of the year.

López was back in action for the first time since delivering on his enormous promise more than 13 months ago with a comprehensive unanimous-decision win over Vasiliy Lomachenko, the three-weight champion from Ukraine who for years had been widely regarded as boxing’s pound-for-pound best.

That more than four hundred days passed between López’s star turn in the MGM Grand bubble and Saturday night’s thrice-postponed date with the IBF’s mandatory challenger, staged in the Garden’s smaller theater instead of the big room next door, offers an instructive case study in boxing’s tragicomic institutional dysfunction.

But Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) made the most of the delayed opportunity, weathering López’s smothering onslaught in the early rounds, scoring a knockout against the run of play and delivering the finishing kick of a champion.

More to follow.

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