It took a year and plenty of issues to work through to even get into the ring, but George Kambosos Jr. came up with a massive upset over champion Teofimo Lopez Jr. on Saturday night.
Kambosos pulled out a split decision over Lopez at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden to claim the WBC franchise and WBA, WBO and IBF lightweight titles despite entering the match a big +600 underdog on BetMGM. Lopez was a massive -900 favorite.
"I believed in myself, I backed myself," Kambosos said in the ring after the win. "I thought, 'I'm going to hit him hard and put him down,' and the fight changed off that ... I'm an unbelievable boxer. I can't believe how good I boxed."
Kambosos survives late knockdown to grab upset
Lopez and Kambosos were initially supposed to fight in June, but Lopez tested positive for COVID-19. The two then had several disagreements over when and where the fight would eventually take place, among other things.
Finally, though, the two entered the ring on Saturday night — and did not disappoint.
Lopez said coming into the bout that he was going to come out swinging and land a first-round knockout — and that’s exactly what he tried to do, perhaps to a fault.
Near the end of the fast-paced opening round, Kambosos was the one who landed the first great shot and sent Lopez down to the mat with a big right hand.
Lopez jumped right back up, clearly upset with himself, and got out of the first round after a brief Kambosos slip.
“The fight changed after that,” Kambosos said in the ring of his first-round knockdown.
It felt as if Kambosos was in complete control after that over the next several rounds, though Lopez wasn’t gone completely just yet. He flipped things and seemed to stun Kambosos in the ninth, and then nearly ended things in the 10th with a knockdown of his own.
Miraculously, however, Kambosos survived and edged out the split-decision win.
Lopez came out adamant after and insisted that he deserved the win, claiming he felt he won 10 of the 12 rounds. Kambosos offered a rematch back in Australia, though Lopez didn’t seem interested — and instead sounded like he was ready to leave the 135-pound division and move up.
Either way, it was Kambosos who walked out of the ring with a perfect 20-0 record and Lopez's belts after a tremendous fight.