A much postponed and moved contest finally takes place this Saturday night at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden, as Teofimo Lopez defends his haul of Lightweight gold for the first time against Australia’s George Kambosos Jr.
Lopez vs Kambosos Jr has been slated to take place a fair few times, but a combination of COVID-19, promotional and venue issues have constantly pushed it back.
Triller originally had promotional rights to the fight after winning the purse bid in February, however the IBF found Triller in default after they were not able to get both fighters to agree to a date change from October 4 to October 16, with Matchroom Boxing, the second highest bidder in the purse bid taking the reins, and the card can be seen live on DAZN.
Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) expertly diffused the much-fancied Vasyl Lomachenko in October 2020, wrenching the Ukrainian’s WBA ‘Super’, WBO and WBC Franchise belts with a strong first half showing, seemingly winning the first six or seven rounds at least before repelling Lomachenko’s onslaught down the stretch for a wide win on the scorecards.
That win added more gold to the Brooklynite’s collection, having won the IBF crown a fight prior to meeting Lomachenko, when he halted Richard Commey in just two rounds in December 2019.
Kambosos Jr (19-0, 10 KOs) has certainly been talking a good game, and earns his crack at Lopez on the back of winning an IBF final eliminator last time out, defeating a lacklustre Lee Selby at Wembley Arena in October 2020 via split decision.
Other than that win, Kambosos’ only other significant victory came against Mickey Bey ten months earlier, where he took a split verdict win over ten.
The 27-year-old Sydney native has been accusing Lopez of having a glass chin, as well as promising to chin-check his opponent, and, to knock Lopez out.
Prediction: Lopez will want to take care of business here, to secure bigger and better fights going forward, and he can do just that against Kambosos Jr. He may possibly score an early knockdown, on the way to a late stoppage win, or a wide and clear win on the cards.
Fuzile-Ogawa meet for world title
The vacant IBF super featherweight title is at stake in the preliminaries, as Azinga Fuzile (15-1, 9 KOs) of South Africa takes on Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1, 18 KOs) for the belt.
Fuzile is coming off an impressive seventh round stoppage of Martin Ward in May, while Ogawa thought he had won this title once before, but was stripped after a positive post-fight drug test after outscoring Tevin Farmer in December 2017.
Prediction: Ogawa can take this one on the cards.
Ford clashes with Caraballo
Raymond Ford (9-0-1, 5 KOs) blasted out Reece Bellotti in three rounds in his last fight, and he defends the WBA Continental featherweight title he won that night here, against Felix Caraballo over a scheduled ten rounds.
Prediction: Caraballo (13-3-2, 9 KOs) is coming off losses to Shakur Stevenson and Robeisey Ramirez, and Ford can notch a points win here against the Puerto Rican.
Mati meets Demario
Unbeaten Staten Island super lightweight, Reshat Mati (11-0, 7 KOs), goes up to ten round level, and ’The Albanian Bear’ can take a win on the cards against Argentina’s Nicolas Pablo Demario (15-5-3, 9 KOs).
Chinese heavyweight Zhilei Zhang (22-0-1, 17 KOs) ran out of steam in his last outing, scoring three knockdowns before being held to a ten round draw with Jerry Forrest, and he returns over eight against Craig Lewis (14-4-1, 8 KOs).
Prediction: Zhang can win in side the distance.
Ramla Ali (3-0) can take a four round points win in her super bantamweight encounter with Isela Vera (1-0) and Christina Cruz (1-0) can do the same at flyweight against Maryguenn Vellinga (3-1-2, 2 KOs), over six.
Anthony Christopher Herrera makes his professional debut at bantamweight.
A hardcore football fan, who thinks Marcelo Bielsa needs his own brand of water cooler.