IBF Orders Teofimo Lopez To Fight Kambosos
Off of his impressive October upset of Vasiliy Lomachenko, we knew that new Undisputed lightweight champ, Teofimo Lopez, would be in demand. And now, the International Boxing Federation has moved quickly to force Lopez to fight their top contender, Australian George Kambosos, soon.
Boxingscene.com’s Jake Donovan reported Friday night that they’ve obtained the official notification from the IBF that orders the fighters and their management teams to make the fight happen within the next 30 days before it will go to a purse bid,
IBF lightweight title fight between Teofimo Lopez Jr and mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr. is officially on the clock. My @boxingscene story with the full details #LopezKambosos https://t.co/7b7gIdbOf0
— Jake Donovan (@JakeNDaBox) January 8, 2021
The formal notification reads in part,
“IBF Lightweight Champion Teofimo Lopez won the Title on December 14, 2019. His mandatory defense was due on or before September 14, 2020. The leading available number one contender is George Kambosos Jr. George Kambosos Jr.,” said Carlos Ortiz, chairman of the IBF Championship Committee
“Negotiations should commence immediately and be concluded by February 6, 2021. If you are unable to come to an agreement for this bout within 30 days, the IBF will call for a purse bid.”
The New York star, Lopez scored an impressive decision win on October 17th over Lomachenko in Las Vegas pushing his career record to 16 – 0, 12 KOs. And, it made him the man to beat at 135 lb.
As for Kambosos, he was last in action on a Halloween winning a hard-fought, split-decision over Britain’s Lee Selby. That made the Australian 19 – 0 with 10 KOs.
Top Rank Boxing and promoter Bob Arum, who represent Lopez, are expected to end up with the contract for Lopez – Kambosos. And, Arum hinted back in November that he would like that bout to be in Australia and pair it on a mega-fight card with the third fight between WBA Super Bantamweight Champion, Joshua Franco of Texas and Australian, Andrew Maloney.
Their second fight ended in a controversial, “no-contest,” when Franco suffered the badly swollen shut right eye after just two rounds and the referee ruled it to be from an accidental butt instead of Moloney punches.
Moloney is still challenging that ruling and wanting to overturn it to a technical knockout win to make him the champion. The WBA has also ordered the third fight to happen recently. And, the dates may very well lineup for it to be part the potential Lopez and Kambosos.
Kambosos is represented by Lou DiBella of Dibella Entertainment and as the IBF letter says, has been waiting for a year for the shot at Lopez. Lopez could also choose to vacate the IBF portion of his titles, if he wants to fight someone else.
That would set up Kambosos in a mandatory matchup for the vacant IBF belt later in the year.