Teofimo Lopez was ridiculed by boxing fans — even some of his own — over a stunning declaration that he won his fight over new lightweight world champion George Kambosos Jr.
Lopez, the defending champion, was the short-priced favorite to take down Kambosos, even claiming before the fight that he would win with a first-round knockout.
But Kambosos stunned his opponent and the world with one of the gutsiest fights from an Australian seen on the world stage to claim a split decision victory (115-111, 115-113, 113-114) Saturday night in New York.
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The challenger exerted his dominance early, knocking down Lopez late in the first round with a overhand right, before going on to dominate the middle rounds.
It was clear by the ninth round that Kambosos had the upper hand and had Lopez rattled, although the American did land a few blows late in the contest that made for an intriguing final round.
In the end though, judges and fans alike were convinced Kambosos was the worthy winner. Lopez was left with a gaping cut above his right eye and clearly worse for wear.
Before a decision had been made, Kambosos was seen in Lopez’s corner congratulating his opponent on a great fight and paying his respect to Lopez and his team.
After the judges’ scores were read confirming Kambosos’ victory, the Australian let the crowd know.
“Have I changed all week? Have I changed all career? Never . . . I’m not the king, because you’ve got four kings. I’m the emperor,” Kambosos declared, braced with the lightweight belt.
“I’m the greatest Australian fighter in history.”
OH YES HE KAM.
George Kambosos Jr. shocks the boxing world with a split decision upset win over unified lightweight champion Teófimo López.
The Australian was a major underdog heading into Saturday’s fight.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) November 28, 2021
Soon after, a bloodied and beaten Lopez stood opposite Kambosos and took to the microphone to say he was the champion, much to the disapproval of his local crowd in New York.
“He’s a hell of a fighter, but I won tonight, everybody knows that,” Lopez said to a backdrop of heavy booing from the audience inside the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
“The referee raised my hand. I won tonight, I don’t care what anybody says, yo, I won tonight. At the end of the day, I’ve been here, I done that, I want to thank God, I want to thank everybody that came out tonight. Look, I ain’t no sore loser, I take my wins like I take my losses.
“At the end of the day, man, I’m a true champion, I did what I had to do, and I went out there and did my best. I don’t care what anybody says, man, I am as real as they come, and this is the takeover, man, we don’t stop, we keep coming.
“Yo, at the end of the day man, I love you all, I won this fight.”
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Lopez was asked on what grounds he felt he deserved to win, to which the New York native said: “At the end of the night, I scored it 11-2. 10-2.”
Kambosos reclaimed the microphone to say Lopez was dazed after the fight, before silencing him.
“Take it like a champ. Let’’s do it again in Australia in front of 80,000 people,” the champion said.
The reception to Lopez’s outrageous comments was equally as disapproving on Twitter, with fans labeling the 24-year-old a sore loser.