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Australian George Kambosos wins split decision over Teofimo Lopez in New York

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George Kambosos Jr has etched his name into Australian boxing folklore with a stunning win over Teofimo Lopez in their unified lightweight championship grudge match in New York.

As he boldly predicted during the hateful build-up, Kambosos is the new undisputed world champion after defying the odds to strip the previously undefeated Lopez of his WBO, WBA and IBF titles with a mighty performance at Madison Square Garden.

The 28-year-old from Sydney is the first Australian boxer in history to win three world titles in one match, a feat that eluded even Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu, both widely recognized as the country’s two greatest boxers.

George Kambosos Jr has etched his name into Australian boxing folklore with a stunning win over Teofimo Lopez in their unified lightweight championship grudge match in New York

As he boldly predicted during the hateful build-up, Kambosos is the new undisputed world champion after defying the odds to strip the previously undefeated Lopez of his WBO, WBA and IBF titles with a mighty performance at Madison Square Garden

As he boldly predicted during the hateful build-up, Kambosos is the new undisputed world champion after defying the odds to strip the previously undefeated Lopez of his WBO, WBA and IBF titles with a mighty performance at Madison Square Garden

Kambosos was a massive underdog to beat Lopez (16-0, 12KO) with the American adamant that he would knock out the challenger in the first round.

Kambosos wanted nothing to do with it and insisted that three years as a sparring partner to the legendary Manny Pacquiao in the Philippines had strengthened him for the biggest fight of his life.

“Back yourself, believe in yourself,” he said after winning by split decision.

“I’ve said it over and over – you may not believe it – but I believe in myself and look at me now.

‘I have all the jewels. I am not the king. You have your four kings. I am the emperor because I come to every other country and take them out one by one.

“I am the greatest fighter in Australian history.”

Kambosos (pictured right) was a massive underdog to beat Lopez (16-0, 12KO) with the American adamant he would knock out the challenger in the first round

Kambosos (pictured right) was a massive underdog to beat Lopez (16-0, 12KO) with the American adamant he would knock out the challenger in the first round

Teofimo Lopez is bloodied after his fight against George Kambosos for Lopez's Undisputed Lightweight title at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 27, 2021 in New York.

Teofimo Lopez is bloodied after his fight against George Kambosos for Lopez’s Undisputed Lightweight title at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on November 27, 2021 in New York.

The blockbuster was more than a year in the making after a staggering seven postponements, six different proposed locations, and countless legal challenges in a soap opera build-up with infighting between boxers, promoters and lawsuits.

Both fighters were back in the ring for the first time since October 2020, when Lopez, already the IBF lightweight champion, upset Vasiliy Lomachenko in Las Vegas to strip Ukraine of his WBA and WBO ties.

Kambosos, who has now extended his undefeated record to 20-0, earned his shot at history in a split decision against Briton Lee Selby at Wembley more than a year ago.

But he had to wait five more months after Lopez contracted COVID-19 before their most recent scheduled collision on June 29.

The pair traded verbal barbs for months during a bitter run that culminated when the two fighters’ fathers physically clashed in a gym during a media appeal last week.

The blockbuster was more than a year in the making after a staggering seven postponements, six different proposed locations and countless legal challenges in a soap opera build-up with infighting between boxers, promoters and lawsuits.

The blockbuster was more than a year in the making after a staggering seven postponements, six different proposed locations and countless legal challenges in a soap opera build-up with infighting between boxers, promoters and lawsuits.

The pair traded verbal barbs for months during a bitter run-up.  Pictured: George Kambosos Jr (right) pushes Teofimo Lopez (left) away after the bell

The pair traded verbal barbs for months during a bitter run-up. Pictured: George Kambosos Jr (right) pushes Teofimo Lopez (left) away after the bell

The referee had already done his job before the match to keep the rivals apart, with Lopez warning in the first round to ‘keep it clean’ before hitting Kambosos during the break.

Chasing an early knockout, Lopez came out, firing punches and a series of heavy blows to Kambosos’ head in the wild opening round.

But while he stood his ground, it was Kambosos who won the round after dropping Lopez to the canvas with a thunderous right overhand.

It was the first time since Lopez’s professional debut five years ago that the American was sent to the canvas, prompting American commentators to label the champion’s brutal tactics “amateurish” and “disrespectful.”

The referee had already done his job before the match to keep the rivals apart, with Lopez warning in the first round to 'keep it clean' before hitting Kambosos (right) during the break

The referee had already done his job before the match to keep the rivals apart, with Lopez warning in the first round to ‘keep it clean’ before hitting Kambosos (right) during the break

Lopez (left) landed solid shots in the ninth round, then shook and dropped Kambosos (right_) in the 10th

Lopez (left) landed solid shots in the ninth round, then shook and dropped Kambosos (right_) in the 10th

The two warriors exchanged verbal expletives long after the round ended, and continued to do so throughout the epic encounter.

Kambosos was in sight of Australian boxing immortality, leading the bout through nine rounds.

But Lopez hurt him with a big right in the ninth round, then shook and dropped Kambosos in the 10th.

There was no surrender from Kambosos, however, as the challenger dominated the 11th lap to seemingly turn his nose up front again.

He was duly awarded the fight — and all of the loot — after holding his own in the final championship round, despite protests from Lopez that he won.

The two competitors embraced after the brutal battle in a show of respected after their bitter pre-fight build-up

The two competitors embraced after the brutal battle in a show of respected after their bitter pre-fight build-up

The 28-year-old undisputed champion is pictured with his young family

The 28-year-old undisputed champion is pictured with his young family

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