George Kambosos Jr stunned the world by out-gunning Teofimo Lopez to claim the unified lightweight championship in a bitter grudge match in New York.
But the Australian’s incredible victory was slightly overshadowed by the reaction of his ‘classless’ opponent who snatched the microphone to say ‘I won’.
Kambosos in his victory speech showed respect to the American, 24, after the brutal split decision calling him a ‘true champ’, but Lopez cut him off.
George Kambosos Jr (left) victory was slightly over-shadowed by the reaction of his ‘classless’ opponent Teofimo Lopez (right) who snatched the microphone post fight to say ‘I won’
‘He’s a hell of a fighter, but I won tonight, man,’ Lopez said.
‘Everybody knows that. The referee raised my hand. I won tonight. I don’t care what anybody says, I won tonight.
‘I ain’t no sore loser. At the end of the day, I take my wins, I take my losses. I’m a true champion. I came out here. I did what I had to do.’
But with deep cuts and swelling over both his eyes, the Sydneysider called him ‘delusional’.
Pictured: Teofimo Lopez
‘Look at your face. But I gave you the respect. I came here I gave you the respect in the ring and I won the fight. Take it like a champ. Move on. We can do it again in Australia in front of 80,000 people,’ Kambosos said.
‘All respect to him. Madison Square Garden, New York, I love yas all.
‘All respect to Teofimo. He’s a great kid. The build-up was the build-up. We’re both competitive, we’re both young guys.’
The boxing world blasted Lopez for not showing enough respect to the Australian after being beaten.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist and multiple world championship winner Claressa Gwoat Shields said: ‘Champions take losses really hard… But umm this ain’t it.’
Renowneed boxing journalist Dan Rafael wrote on Twitter: ‘Lopez crashes Kambosos interview and says he won the fight. Not a good look.’
ESPN’s Mike Coppinger posted that there were ‘Big-time boos for Teofimo Lopez, who claims he was robbed and won 10 of the 12 rounds.’
George Kambosos Jr has etched his name in Australian boxing folklore with a stunning points victory over Teofimo Lopez in their unified lightweight championship grudge match in New York
As he boldly predicted during the spiteful build-up, Kambosos is the new undisputed world champion after defying the odds to strip the previously unbeaten Lopez of his WBO, WBA and IBF titles with a mighty performance at Madison Square Garden
As he boldly predicted during the spiteful build-up, Kambosos is now the new undisputed world champion after defying the odds to strip the previously unbeaten 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 title belts in one bout, a feat that eluded even Jeff Fenech and Kostya Tszyu, both widely recognised as the country’s two greatest pugilists.
Kambosos was a huge underdog to beat Lopez (16-0, 12KO) with the American adamant he’d take the challenger out in the first round.
Kambosos was having none of it, insisting three years serving as legendary Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner in the Philippines had steeled him for the biggest fight of his life.
‘Back yourself, believe in yourself,’ he said after winning on a split decision.
‘I said it time after time – you guys might not believe it – but I believe in myself and look at me now.
‘I’ve got all the jewels. I’m not the king. You’ve got your four kings. I’m the emperor because I come to every other country and I take them out, one by one.
‘I’m the greatest fighter in Australian history.’
Kambosos (pictured right) was a huge underdog to beat Lopez (16-0, 12KO) with the American adamant he’d take the challenger out in the first round
Teofimo Lopez stands bloodied after his bout 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 had been more than a year in the making following a staggering seven postponements, six different proposed locations and numerous legal challenges in a soap-opera build-up featuring in-fighting between boxers, promoters and lawsuits.
Both combatants 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 the Ukraine of his WBA and WBO straps.
Kambosos, who has now now extended his undefeated record to 20-0, earned his shot at history with a split decision against Brit Lee Selby at Wembley more than a year ago.
But he was forced to wait an extra five months after Lopez contracted COVID-19 before their most recent scheduled clash on June 29.
The pair traded verbal barbs for months during a bitter lead-up that climaxed when the two fighters’ fathers physically clashed in a gymnasium during a media call last week.
The blockbuster had been more than a year in the making following a staggering seven postponements, six different proposed locations and numerous legal challenges in a soap-opera build-up featuring in-fighting between boxers, promoters and lawsuits
The pair traded verbal barbs for months during a bitter lead-up. Pictured: George Kambosos Jr (right) pushes Teofimo Lopez (left) away after the bell
The referee had his work cut out even before the bout trying keep the rivals apart, with Lopez warned ‘to keep it clean’ in the first round for hitting Kambosos on the break.
Chasing an early knockout, Lopez came out feverishly throwing punches and landing a series of heavy blows to Kambosos’ head in the wild opening round.
But, standing his ground, it was Kambosos who took 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 had been sent to the canvas, prompting US commentators to brand the champion’s brazen tactics as ‘amateurish’ and ‘disrespectful’.
The referee had his work cut out even before the bout trying keep the rivals apart, with Lopez warned ‘to keep it clean’ in the first round for hitting Kambosos (right) on the break
Lopez (left) landed solid shots in the ninth round, then rocked and dropped Kambosos (right_) in the 10th
The two warriors traded verbal expletives long after the round finished, and continued to do so throughout the epic encounter.
Kambosos was within sight of Australian boxing immortality, leading the contest through nine rounds.
But Lopez hurt him with a big right in the ninth round, then rocked and dropped Kambosos in the 10th.
There was no surrender from Kambosos, though, as the challenger dominated the 11th round to seemingly put his nose back in front.
He was duly awarded the fight – and all the spoils – after holding firm in the final championship round, despite protests from Lopez that he’d won.
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