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George Kambosos Jr. shocks Teofimo Lopez in split decision to become new unified world lightweight champion

George Kambosos vs. Teofimo Lopez Matchroom

NEW YORK — George Kambosos Jr. heard Teofimo Lopez predict a first-round knockout and turned the table to almost score one of his own.

Although Kambosos didn't get that first-round KO, he did use a vicious overhand right to score a knockdown in the opening frame and rode it toward a rousing split-decision victory Saturday night to become the new unified world lightweight champion inside the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Although Lopez dropped Kambosos with a right hand of his own in the 10th round, it wasn't enough as judges scored it 115-111 for Kambosos, 114-113 for Lopez and 115-112 for the Australian, who shocked the undefeated champion with the thrilling upset at the end of a war.

"I believed in myself," Kambosos declared to DAZN's Chris Mannix. "I've got all the jewels."

"I'm the better fighter," he added, further stating that his win was the biggest victory in Australian boxing history.

"Hell of a fighter, but I won tonight," Lopez shot back in the center of the ring.

After months of multiple false starts and postponements, many fans thought Lopez would make good on blasting Kambosos out of MSG in a hurry. And it looked that way for a moment as Lopez unloaded everything in his arsenal during the opening round. Kambosos held firm, withstood the attack and caught Lopez with a hellacious overhand right to drop the New Yorker in a stunning moment that would serve as a foreshadowing indicator for what's to come.

Although Lopez immediately rebounded and dug his way back into the bout, Kambosos hung tough and displayed a scrappy effort to go back and forth with "The Takeover" in give-and-take nonstop action.

Lopez did deliver a knockdown of his own — on a right hand in the 10th round — to arguably pull ahead.

But Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) finished the stronger fighter to leave it in judges' hands, where they ultimately declared him the new champion in the biggest win of his pro career. Though both fighters exhibited damage from the 12-round war, Lopez's face looked way worse for wear with a gushing cut leaving his left eye bloody.

So, what seemed as a grand stage for Lopez to lay out the blueprint for a huge 2022 wound up shaking up boxing with a new holder of three (WBA, WBO and IBF) of the four major lightweight titles. Devin Haney is the WBC lightweight champ and used Saturday night to kick Lopez while he's down.

He also invited the newly-crowned champ, Kambosos, to fight for undisputed glory.

Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) suggested that he may have to move up in weight to 140 pounds after struggling to make 135. Plans for a post-fight press conference were dashed as both fighters were taken to the hospital.

Here's how the entire Lopez-Kambosos fight went.

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Fuzile vs. Ogawa; Round 9

Ogawa unloads on a right hand that catches Fuzile squarely. And again. Fuzile has a gash opened up on his right eye and Ogawa continues to pressure to paint his bloody scene. Another right hand lands flush, Ogawa following this one up with a slicing uppercut. A right, left and right land for him as well. (10-9 Ogawa, 86-84 Ogawa)

Fuzile vs. Ogawa; Round 8

Fuzile countering well to negate Ogawa's attack. He brushes Ogawa back by sitting on a power shot to the body for good measure. (10-9 Fuzile, 76-75 Ogawa)

Fuzile vs. Ogawa; Round 7

Ogawa keeps pressuring Fuzile and is landing shots as his paydirt. Fuzile is waiting to unload something big but Ogawa's high volume is making it hard for the South African to do so. (10-9 Ogawa, 67-65 Ogawa)

Fuzile vs. Ogawa; Round 6

Ogawa pressuring with a temperature check to see where Fuzile's legs are at early into the round following the knockdown. Ogawa sits on a body shot and comes upstairs with a lunging right. He's closing the space on Fuzile well and connecting. Fuzile with a flush right hook to the jaw and he ducks out of harm's way on the defensive end. Ogawa with two stiff right hands during the waning seconds and he takes the round to own a slight edge halfway through. (10-9 Ogawa, 57-56 Ogawa)

Fuzile vs. Ogawa; Round 5

A right hook catches Fuzile flush on the chin and he's down!

Fuzile beats the count and Ogawa is pouring it on, smothering him with punches around the ring. Fuzile is on his bike trying to survive and he manages to do so. (10-8 Ogawa, 47-47)

Fuzile vs. Ogawa; Round 4

Ogawa with just enough grazing shots to take the round. The frame could've been in scored in Fuzile's favor just as easily, though. Ogawa is sporting a cut under his right eye. (10-9 Ogawa, 39-37 Fuzile)

Fuzile vs. Ogawa; Round 3

Ogawa spends most of the round walking Fuzile down but the South African fighter punches through traffic and connects. He also briefly buckles Ogawa with a sneaky left hand right on the chin. (10-9 Fuzile, 30-27 Fuzile)

Fuzile vs. Ogawa; Round 2

Ogawa is more active with his hands as he lets them go freely but Fuzile is methodical with his investment to the body with the jab. Slight edge to him. (10-9 Fuzile, 20-18 Fuzile)

Azinga Fuzile vs. Kenichi Ogawa; Round 1

Both fighters tentative and trying to feel each other out but Fuzile was a bit sharper with his output. (10-9 Fuzile)

Demetrius Andrade addresses the crowd

The WBO middleweight titleholder of the world grabbed the mic inside the Hulu Theater and just implored fans in attendance to put the pressure on fellow middleweight champions Jermall Charlo and Gennadiy Golovkin for a possible unified tilt.

Chief support is next

Azinga Fuzile (15-1 9 KOs) vs. Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1 28 KOs) with the vacant IBF world super featherweight title on the line is moments away.

Ford forces eighth-round stoppage

Too many unanswered shots from Ford and the ref brings the bout to a screeching halt as the Camden, New Jersey product improves to 10-0-1 (6 KOs).

Caraballo wasn't pleased with the stoppage but it was the right move. He was being punished with stinging output. Solid win for Raymond "Savage" Ford against a very spirited, game fighter.

Intriguing Ford-Caraballo fight

There's no doubt that Ford is superior with his sweet science skills but Caraballo is gutsy and picking his spots when to rush the undefeated rising talent with a power surge. Let's see how Ford continues to respond entering the sixth.

Roars for Teofimo Lopez

The Hulu Theater goes from boos for George Kambosos Jr. to a loud pop for native New Yorker and unified world lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez as they're shown on the big screen entering the venue.

Ford's stellar jab on display

Ford catches Caraballo with clean combination after clean combination. Caraballo motions to bring it on during the waning seconds after getting tagged left and right. He better be careful about what he asks for.

These punches from Ford are stinging with plenty of pop to them.

Entertaining first round

Intriguing first round as Ford quickly asserts his superior hand speed, touching Caraballo up with a few multiple-punch combinations. But Caraballo battles through the lightning-quick punches to score some powerful shots himself — especially to the body.

Undefeated Raymond "Savage" Ford in action next

We're on deck for sharp punching Raymond Ford (9-0-1 5 KOs) taking on Felix Caraballo (13-3-2 9 KOs) in a featherweight clash scheduled for 10 rounds.

"Big Bang"

Well, that was quick. Zhang clobbered Lewis with a hellacious left hook to knock the Detroit boxer down and give him jelly legs.

Another knockdown followed and the referee saw more than enough evidence to stop the bout and award the "Big Bang" with the win via second-round TKO.

The eyes ... the eyes never lie.

 

Heavyweight action kicks off the main card

Launching this main card is a heavyweight tilt between Zhilei Zhang (22-0-1 17 KOs) and Craig Lewis (14-4-1 8 KOs) slated for eight rounds.

Welcome

Hello and welcome to the main card coverage of Teofimo Lopez vs. George Kambosos Jr. Keep it locked here for all your live updates, results and highlights from inside the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

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