A huge boxing event is set for Monday, October 4th, as George Kambosos Jr will be looking to write his name into the history books, as he bids to become the WBA (super), IBF, WBO and The Ring lightweight champion.
He will face huge competition if he is to make history and become the 29th Australian boxing world champion, as Teofimo Lopez is unbeaten in all 16 professional bouts that he has been involved in, most recently beating the boxer that many consider being the best pound-for-pound in the ring, Vasyl Lomachenko.
It could be argued that this boxing bout in October is the biggest match in the sport's history in Australia. However, unfortunately for fans, it will take place in New York. The biggest boxing bout previously saw Jeff Horn take on Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, as the Australian defeated the legendary Filipino by unanimous decision to win the WBO welterweight title in front of a record crowd of 51,052 in 2017. Horn remains the most famous Australian boxer, as he was a household name after that stunning victory against Pacquaio.
However, he later lost the title after a TKO loss against Terence Crawford. Kambosos Jr will be the name on the lips of every Australian in the build-up to the big fight, with many arranging their day around the fight. A Kambosos victory would certainly go down as one of the biggest sporting achievements by an Australian athlete and would be the best boxing victory in the sport’s history for an Australian on foreign soil.
There is no denying that the Australian challenger will be the underdog in the betting for the world title fight in October, as this will be a huge step up in opposition. However, he should come into the fight with great confidence behind him, as he has a perfect 19-0 record. He has won ten of his professional fights by knockout, with nine victories coming by decision. The biggest win of his career to date came in October 2020, as he upset the odds to beat former IBF featherweight champion, Lee Selby, by a split decision in London.
Fighting outside of Australia will certainly not be something that will put Kombosos Jr off his game, as his last six bouts have all taken place outside of his homeland. He has fought on three previous occasions in the United States, most recently beating former IBF lightweight champion, Mikey Bey by a split decision in 2019.
Kombosos will be only too aware that he is the outsider to win the world title in New York, and it isn’t likely to impact his game plan too much. The Australian will rest on the skills that got him to this point in the first place and stay active in the ring trying to land jabs. He may also look to sit back and counter hard, just as he did in the Selby fight last year. However, many would consider that to be a very dangerous gameplan against a fighter of the caliber of Lopez, who has the power to make this a very costly tactic.
Kombosos can’t afford to give away too many rounds in the fight, especially if it is to go the distance, which means that avoiding this plan will be key. The Australian also likes to finish fights strongly, as his conditioning has often proved to be a difference-maker in the closer fights that he has been involved in. However, he will need to slightly adjust that given that he will be coming up against one of the very best boxers in the world right now. A different tactic could see Kombosos try and jab more often, which could see him score vital points throughout the contest.
Every boxer is capable of having an off day, and that is what really separates the all-time greats from the champions that are just a stop-gap. There is no denying that Teofimo Lopez is one of the brightest young boxers on the planet at present, and if he is to lose, Kombosos Jr will need to be at his very best, as well as hoping that the American is slightly off his game. Lopez is yet to show any indication that he is capable of an off-night, as he continues to improve every time that we see him in the ring. After beating Richard Commey in New York to win the IBF title in 2019, the unification bout with Vasyl Lomachenko was the next logical step.
Still, many doubted that he truly had the ability to beat the pound-for-pound king, as the Ukrainian has been in dominant form throughout his career. But, on that night in Las Vegas, Lopez firmly arrived as one of the stars of the boxing world. He had answers for everything that Lomachenko threw at him, and hit back with extra purpose. It was a coming-out party for the American in Vegas, but holding onto a world title is so often more difficult than winning it in the first place.
You would be hard-pressed to get anything near competitive odds for a Lopez win against Kombosos in October. The American is currently 1/10 on to win the fight with the leading Australian boxing betting sites, while the Australian is priced up at 11/2. The unlikely draw is 25/1.
It will be a huge spectacle for boxing fans in Australia to see Kombosos Jr stand across the ring from Lopez, and many will be hoping that he just gives a strong account of himself. It’s incredibly difficult to look past the American claiming victory despite having inferior punch speed compared to Kombosos Jr. Lopez’s power, ring IQ, and knockout record all point to one conclusion.
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