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- Australian boxer
Many expected Teofimo Lopez Jr. to make quick work of George Kambosos Jr. on Saturday. Instead, Kambosos made history.
The Australian, who predicted he’d give Lopez hell, outworked his American counterpart to win a split decision and the undisputed lightweight championship at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Kambosos’s winning formula wasn’t complicated. The new champion threw and landed more punches than Lopez, one of which put him down in the opening round. And he took everything Lopez was able to land, including one that put him down in Round 10 but didn’t hurt him badly enough to finish him.
Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) made it clear that he was no pushover with the big overhand right that decked Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) in the final seconds of Round 1.
The product of Sydney outboxed and outworked the New Yorker to build a lead on the cards for the next six or seven rounds as Lopez seemed to be preoccupied with landing a knockout blow.
Lopez began to rally around Round 9, when he got busier and landed some of his biggest shots. That included a chopping right that knocked Kambosos onto the canvas about a minute into Round 10.
However, Lopez wasn’t able to finish the job, Kambosos recovered and the Aussie performed well in Rounds 11 and 12 to claim victory.
Two judges scored it for Kambosos, 115-111 and 115-112. The third had it 114-113 for Lopez, who fought through a bad cut above his left eye over the final few rounds.
Boxing Junkie scored it 114-112 for Kambosos, seven rounds to five.
The victory gives Kambosos all four of the major 135-pound titles, making him Australia’s first undisputed champion in the four-belt era. It also was one of — if not THE — biggest victory in Australian boxing history.
Lopez became an instant star when he outpointed pound-for-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko to win his titles in his last fight, in October of last year. Now, after falling short in his first defense, he’ll have to rebuild.