George Kambosos says Teofimo Lopez ‘power was nothing special’ ⋆ Boxing News 24
By Sean Jones: George Kambosos Jr. says the punching power of former undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez was nothing special for their fight last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Kambosos, 28, took Teofimo’s best shots and wound outworking him to win a 12 round split decision to capture his IBF, WBA, WBC Franchise & WBO lightweight titles.
Teofimo (16-1, 12 KOs) hit Kambosos with his best shots the entire fight but couldn’t hurt him enough to get the knockout he was seeking. Indeed, Kambosos looked like he had the better chance of scoring a knockout in the fight.
It’s possible that Teofimo took some of the zip off his shots so that he could improve his accuracy because he was missing the entire night due to the Manny Pacquiao-esque in and out movement that Kambosos was using.
Teofimo won’t get Josh Taylor fight
“I really had to earn it, and I had to go to the backyard of these champions,” said Kambosos to Secondsout. “What I did last night in going to the backyard of Lopez’s home and taking everything off him.
“I don’t see Josh Taylor even giving him the opportunity now because he has nothing to bring to the table,” said Kambosos when told that Teofimo plans on going up to 140 rather than trying to set up a rematch.
“I have a better chance of calling Josh Taylor and getting that fight now,” said Kambosos. “That’s not something I’m interested in. I’m a 135-pounder, and I could move down to 130 if I wanted to.
“I could move up to 140 because I carry that speed and explosive power as I go heavier, but I feel better at 135. There’s a lot of business to be done here at 135.
“Yes, I’m the top dog, I’m the emperor, but there are guys still floating around, and I’m going to take them all out before I make my next move.
“That’s their business now if they don’t want the rematch,” Kambosos said about Teofimo and his dad not wanting the rematch. “As I said in the ring, we’ll do it in front of 80,000 people in Australia.
“Let’s give them another war. He [Teofimo] knows; he felt what I brought to the table. As a champion, you get better and better. They say with one belt; you get 20% better.
“With all these belts, I’m going to get 150% better. We’ll see. For now, we’ll continue perfecting my craft in the gym,” Kambosos said.
Teofimo seems to have things twisted in his head with him believing that undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor will want to give him a title shot.
At this point, the only way that Teofimo will get a title shot against Taylor is if Top Rank promoter Bob Arum arranges the fight, but I can’t see him doing that.
You have to realize that Teofimo just forced a purse bid for the Kambosos fight instead of listening to Arum and putting the fight on ESPN.
Kambosos ready to go out his shield
“I want to see how they do next week,” said Kambosos on the December 4th fight between WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney and Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz Jr.
“Haney said he’ll handle his business. I said I’d handle my business. I did last night. And I took out the #1 guy. I made a massive statement around the world. Now I want to see him make a statement. Now we’ll see. If that makes the most sense, then I love the fight.
“I want to fight the best guys. Look at my track record. You could see in that fight. There was no retreat; there was no surrender, and I was never going to retreat and surrender.
“I was going to die in that ring, and I was prepared to go out on my shield and die in that ring. That’s a scary thought. That’s the kind of fighter I am. I’m ready to lay it on the line every time I step foot inside the ropes to give the fans what they love and what I love too.
“This is the real combat, the best thing in the world. I know all these guys are going to want to come get it. If you want it, come and get it. Let’s see how easy it is,” said Kambosos.
Let’s see what happens if Kambosos keeps his same silliness to go out on his shield if he gets a killer like Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Ryan Garcia, or Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero as his next opponent.
Devin Haney and Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz Jr. lack punching power, so Kambosos will be able to afford to mix it up with them without worry. But if he tries that with Rolly, Tank, or Ryan, he could regret it.
George could face Haney vs. Diaz Jr. winner
“He was in his prime, coming off the Lomachenko fight, knocking everybody out. I dissected him round by round. It’s a good feeling. I have the belts, and it’s nice.
“Now they got to remember the fight because we gave them a hell of a show last night, and it made up for a lot of time as well with the performance I gave and the fight we showed.
“I always knew it would come and the door would open, and I would become champion of the world,” said Kambosos. “To collect everything, I believe that is my destiny because of the hard work that I have had.
“You saw a lot of glimpses of Manny [Pacquiao] last night with the in and out, the speed, the four, five, six punches, in and out and on the toes,” said Kambosos on what he learned from his time as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao.
“He put a great Tweet out. He’s very proud, and he did help us. It’s been a long time coming with my team, and the way we’ve handled ourselves as true professionals and to win these belts is very deserving.
“He’s [Devin Haney] got a belt [WBC lightweight]. I believe the Franchise belt is a super title like the WBA is a super title, and I feel like there’s good mutual respect there.
“He’s [Haney] got business to handle [against Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz Jr.] this week coming [on December 4th], and yeah, we’ll sit down. I’m the type of fighter that won’t back down from no man.
“I’m the type of fighter that won’t back down from no man and even in the backyard like I’ve been doing time after time. They need to come see me now, and I need my next fight in Australia,” Kambosos said.
With Kambosos already trying to call the shots by insisting that the Devin Haney vs. Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz Jr. must come to Australia to fight him, there’s a good chance that he won’t get his way.
Yeah, it’s great that Kambosos was able to pull off a massive upset against the weight-drained and ring rusty Teofimo, but that doesn’t automatically make him the A-side in a fight with Haney or Diaz Jr.
Those guys are pretty popular in their own right, and they’re not going to be overjoyed with Kambosos trying to dictate where the fight takes place before negotiations have even started.
Kambosos has no comment on 10-2 claim by Teofimo
“Instead of doing 15,000 to 20,000 here, we can do 80,000 [in Australia]. The fight between me and Lopez, if this were in Australia, instead of doing 5,000 here, we would have done 60,000, 70,000, maybe more.
“The whole of Australia is celebrating right now, and we’re coming home with all the gold,” said Kambosos about his four titles he’ll be returning home with in Australia.
“Really, there is no comment,” said Kambosos when asked about his thoughts on Teofimo and his dad, believing that they won 10 rounds to 2. “The world saw what happened last night.
“The performance I put on, dissecting him round by round, broke him down. Whatever he thinks, the world knows,” said Kambosos of Teofimo. “His own fans were booing him. I got my victory, and I believe it wasn’t even close.
“Then he comes in and tries to intrude on my interview during my time to shine and says some delusional stuff, and they’re booing him, his own people. That’s the biggest insult, and I don’t have to say anymore.
“Psychologically, I broke this kid [Teofimo] down many months ago. Bit by bit, I broke him down at the press conference and the weigh-in. I knew he was going to come, and we had a great game plan.
“We let him come, no problem. It shows the warrior that I am. My shield was there, and I was ready for whatever he brought.
“I put Lopez down. I landed that beautiful right hand, and it was a great start to the fight. It changed the fight straight away,” said Kambosos.
In fairness to Teofimo, he was likely giving himself rounds based on him landing the much harder shots. If you look at the fight from that perspective, it’s easy to say that Teofimo won 10 rounds to 2.
The judges that gave Canelo Alvarez the 12 round draw against Gennadiy Golovkin in their first fight ignored the many jabs that GGG was hitting the Mexican star with each round.
Their focus was on the one or two hard shots that Canelo landed in many of the rounds.
Had those judges been working last Saturday’s fight, Teofimo would have likely won.
He was landing six to eight hard shots in each round, and he had a lot more power on his punches than what we were seeing from Kambosos the entire fight.
Teofimo’s power was nothing special
“I’ve been in this situation before,” said Kambosos. “In my earlier fights where they come out flying, and I land that one shot, and they realize, ‘Wow, this guy can crack.’
“You’ve got welterweights and junior middleweights saying, ‘Man, you hit so hard. You hit like a junior middleweight.’ What am I going to do with lightweights?
“Even his shots, the power was nothing special,” said Kambosos about Teofimo’s punches. “I said earlier this week, ‘Don’t be surprised. I’m going to catch him early, and I’m going to hurt him.’
“I manifest these things, I visualize them, and I see them. That put a tone for the whole fight.
“From there, I got into my zen mode. I boxed his head off, picked him apart, and broke him down. And I busted him up, and I really broke him down. His face was a mess, and it was way worse than what I am.
“It was a great victory. When I had to bite down on that gumshield, I loved it because I thrive on that.
“When I got put down, I lost my composure for a split second because I was getting a little bit too excited.
“He caught me with a good shot, but I got up, no problem, and finished the round,” Kambosos said.
It’s difficult to know if Kambosos is intentionally disingenuous because he doesn’t want to say nice things about Teofimo due to lingering bad blood.
But in looking at the primarily low-level opposition that Kambosos has fought as a pro, there’s no one that this writer can see on his resume that matches Teofimo’s power.
The two best guys on Kambosos’ resume are Mickey Bey and Lee Selby, and those fighters aren’t considered power punchers.
Kambosos wanted to punish Teofimo
“I went back to my corner, and I thought, I’m going to bust him up for the next two rounds because I’m angry at myself. Not because he did anything special. I’m angry at myself because I made the mistake.
“That round 11 was probably my best round. I dominated him and split him open with blood everywhere, and that round 12, I closed the show.
“We knew he was going to keep coming the whole fight, but I’m such a sharp boxer. What I said was, I will do everything better than he does.
“Yes, I did,” said Kambosos when asked if he knew he would win on the cards. “Round by round, I was chipping away. You’ve got aggression, but you’ve got to be aggressive the right way if you land your shots.
“He was not landing with 2, 3, 4 combinations, and the jab was busting him up. The uppercuts and bodywork round by round, I took him out.
“I came out and put a masterclass in the next two,” said Kambosos in talking about the 11th and 12th. “That mentally and spiritually breaks a fighter. I knew going back to my corner, he didn’t do enough,” said Kambosos.
If Kambosos continues to slug with big punchers like Teofimo, he’s eventually going to get knocked out.
He was lucky this time that Teofimo gassed out after the tenth round because if he hadn’t, he likely would have finished Kambosos off in the 11th.
Teofimi was within two punches of having Kambosos knocked out in the tenth round and only needed a body shot or two to finish the job.