Was it Teofimo Lopez sour grapes? It was certainly rude and arrogant.
After the fight, which unfancied opponent, Australian George Kambosos Jr, won by split decision, Teofimo Lopez crashed the champ’s post fight interview and declared himself the winner.
Reported in Sporting News, he said ‘The referee raised my hand. I won tonight, I don’t care what anybody says, yo, I won tonight’ he also said he wasn’t a sore loser.
What we did seewas someone not willing to give up the limelight. This wasn’t in the script and it was almost as if Lopez controlled his narrative, that result never happened. It was a shock.
Why A Shock?
The Guardian called Kambosos, ‘The unheralded Sydney native, who went off as a 6-1 underdog’ and he was a mandatory challenger for the WBC Lighweight strap and to unify the titles.
Lopez was the coming man, he’s the one who’s been dripping in gold, he’s the man who’s been in with Lomachenko, he’s the one who was so well regarded.
Did Lopez cut too much weight? Did he look past Kambosos? Did he just come up against someone who could take his power?
Maybe all of these. And it made for fabulous boxing action.
It didn’t take long to get going, they were at it from the 1st, Lopez spoken to by the ref 30 seconds in, perhaps because he was keen to get at Kambosos and was ignoring the break requests.
Kambosos was working the jab sporadically, Lopez looked to be waiting for the big punch.
Lopez found it. 2 accurate rights. Kambosos just carried on. It was going to be one of those nights for Teofimo, it seemed.
But he never thought it could have been one of these. A knock down. That happened in his debut. And here too, as Kambosos caught him with an excellent right hand over the top. Lopez was straight up. Kambosos smiled.
And jawed at him at the end of the round. He’d told Lopez he was in a fight, alright.
After an opener like that, the 2nd round started with them regarding each other, Kambosos flicking out the jab, Lopez going to the body.
And then George found the mark with another overhand right. Even if it wasn’t on the button, he looked to be enjoying himself.
Yes, Teofimo, one of those nights.
Even when Lopez got a left left through in the next round, Kambosos kept on, hitting with his power jab.
And then at the end of the round, they both chatted sh*t and the ref was so keen to get Kambosos to his corner than he hit the canvas.
Chris Mannix had Kambosos up by 1 in the 5th, although Lopez looked more fluid even when being tagged with another overhand right.
And when another overhand right connected in the next, Lopez didn’t look as busy, even as they both scored at the end of the round.
By the 7th, Kambosos was loving it. By the 8th he was on his toes and looking for his shots, almost as if he knew that Mannix had him up by 4.
The crowd tried to rally Lopez, who hit a right in the 9th round which unsettled George, who decided he would battle back rather than succumb.
The next stanza, Lopez seemed to smell something, then placed a left hand on the button and put Kambosos down, who rather sprawled on the mat and looked like he had taken a back knockdown.
He got straight up, but many thought this was the beginning of the end Lopez was shocked when his opponent didn’t capitulate, even feeling some shots coming back. A great round.
By this time Mannix had it level but it was only a matter of time, surely?
Nope, Kambosos composed himself and went back to his boxing, showing good movement and staying calm.
His work could be seen on Lopez’s left eye, which was inspected by the doctor who agreed the fight could continue.
Kambosos found that cut well, cut the gap and arrowed in a right hand. He won the round. After he had been knocked down. And in the last round he even windmilled his fist in celebration.
Was It Close?
Well, it was a split decision, but the judges who had it for Kambosos had 3 and 4 point spreads, the one who plumped for Lopez had it 114-113.
So it was close, but pretty definitive.
A great fight though. And another upset among so many recent ones. Close, tough, no quarter given. And the extraordinary sight of a fighter being surprised round by round.
That seemingly sour grapes interview hijack by Lopez was booed by fans in Madison Square Garden.
Jake Paul has taken the fun by tweeting a picture of Teofimo knocked down and a speech bubble telling us ‘I’m definitely winning this fight’, according to a report from The Mirror.
Kambosos was modest and sweet in his interview, just as fans would want. Lopez seemed as if he believed he had a right to be in the limelight, even after losing.
Boxers have to have self belief, but this was a new level.
News.com.au, writing from the champ’s home country, summed it up well; ‘A dethroned and “delusional” Teofimo Lopez has been booed by his own fans after the crude moment he stole the mic from George Kambosos’.
Before any rehabilitation can be done on Teofimo Lopez, we will probably need to hear an apology.
Kambosos? He’s a tough guy with some big skills but the ability to be put on his back. Some will see his weakness and that will make for many offers.
Until then, let’s leave this wonderful fight with the sight of Eddie Hearn jumping out of his seat when Lopez fell and the words of promoter Lou DiBella in The Mirror, “That was a great win for people who love underdogs everywhere – I told you it would be a fight’.