Australians were a forgotten attraction in the fight for lightweight titles, fall guys, designated losers, lucky winners of large wallet bids for challengers, and bookmakers worried about potential upsets. I stopped doing it. It was a Lopez show.
To be fair, Cambosos had little indication of a major shock to his record, and his name was not hidden in the list of men he beat. Miami hints at all types of upset. The “Australian kid” about the kindest thing written about him was simply in the wrong fight.
Lopez was undefeated in just 16 battles, holding three of the four lightweight title belts and fought the Master Class in October last year to defeat Vasiliy Lomachenko. Lomachenko’s victory was also a shock, but Lopez gradually saw young superstars in the fight. Mandatory Cambosos defense has been annoying since the day it was settled in February with a huge bid from a company called Triller. After that, it was turned on and off repeatedly on seven dates.
Triller dropped out of the game, another TV channel and promoter appeared, followed by a long delay. Lopez continued to be in the limelight, Cambossos flew back and forth between Miami and Sydney, his life was put on hold, and his dreams seemed to disappear. Nobody cares about Australians anyway.
“All the pressure is on him,” Cambosos told me two weeks ago from his camp in Miami. “I’m going to lose, I’m going to fall. Nobody asked me what I think about the fight. Lopez is everything.”
Cambosos was preparing for a fierce battle and predicted that he would win the fierce battle. On Saturday, at the old felt forum under the Gardens Big House, Cambosos was preparing for a fierce battle and won the fierce battle. And that was a battle.
Lopez started very fast, pushing Cambosos all over the ring, laughing, talking and throwing punches with a smile without respect.
It was the battle promised by Lopez. In the first round, Cambosos was captured and pushed back from the opening bell until 2 minutes and 45 seconds, when Lopez was charged. Cambosos connected neatly with his right hand and Lopez went down.
A few seconds later the bell rang and Lopez grinned, but it still hurts. It was a warning, it was something everyone overlooked.
“When he rushes in, I’ll catch him,” Cambosos said. And he did.
The battle after the knockdown was a raw, slug fest. Lopez still fought to have the right to win in his town. Cambosos fought like a man who decided not to be confused. Cambosos was not denied – he was denied for months, overlooked, ignored, forced to listen to Lopez’s plans, and listen to all the great battle plans in which Lopez participates. I was forced to. It’s a level of insult, and no one in the boxing business likes to be invisible.
It was friction from the beginning of the second. Lopez thought a little more and tried to connect to a clean shot, but Cambosos was inspired.
They exchanged punches, entwined with the referee a few rounds later, and the Lopez crowd went in and out of the sound. From around the 5th, Cambosos was smiling at the end of the round. It was very good, no doubt.
In the ninth round, Cambosos was caught and injured, but Lopez was tired and marked up, bleeding from a nasty cut on his left eye. It was a tough battle, but it felt like Cambosos was in front of me. No one expected nine rounds as they were offering.
Suddenly, Cambosos looked tired and hurt, and with two minutes remaining in Round 10, he knelt down. Lopez was grinning, he seemed to have fought in his favor, and he could finish the injured fighter. The crazy dream seemed to be over. A crowd of pro-Lopez found their voice in the historic building.
Cambosos was injured many times in the round, but when Lopez tried to end him, he refused to fall and kept throwing punches. Saturday night was Rocky in New York. Cambosos survived the round and Lopez shattered. It was a pure hero.
Cambosos won in 11th place, and the pair in the 12th and final rounds was cut and exhausted. The battle may have gone in either direction, but it felt like Cambossos was in front of me.
There was blood everywhere, and Cambosos simply did not retreat. The last 60 seconds were astounding. The bell rang, it was a round of Cambosos, and then it was the duty of the three judges to provide justice in New York City. And they did, a split decision for Australians. George Cambosos was the champion and Lopez was defeated. That was the right decision.
The defeat was less humble, and Lopez claimed to have won 10 of the 12 rounds. Cambosos remained dignified. The story gets more intense, but the fight was all important. The month of laziness and the month of contempt should not last for days or weeks of bitter mourning from within the Lopez camp.
Cambosos is currently a hero in a boxing match against Australia. He is a great example of what happens when we all fail to prepare the vulnerable. Boxing press and Lopez beat on Saturday night, which was wonderfully refreshing.
Teofimo Lopez vs George Cambosos: Australian Wonderland at the Price of Americans Despising the Vulnerable
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