IBF officially orders Lopez to face Kambosos


1280839708.jpg.0 - IBF officially orders Lopez to face Kambosos
Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

Kambosos defeated Lee Selby last year to secure mandatory status

While the rest of the lightweight young guns argue amongst themselves over who’ll fight who next time out, kinda-sorta-maybe undisputed champion Teofimo Lopez has a clear opponent ahead of him. The IBF have officially ordered him to face mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr., giving the pair until February 6th to come to terms and avoid a purse bid.

Australia’s Kambosos (19-0, 10 KO), a sparring partner of Manny Pacquiao, scored his first major victory in a December 2019 split decision over Mickey Bey. This set up a final eliminator against former featherweight champion Lee Selby; their initial May 9th date collapsed due to COVID, then the fight went back to a purse bid when Kambosos objected to his reduced payout.

The move paid off for him, as he secured a higher purse when Matchroom once again snagged the rights and attached it to Oleksandr Usyk vs Dereck Chisora on Halloween. “Ferocious” secured a competitive decision win over Selby, and despite Isaac Cruz also winning an eliminator over Diego Magdaleno, he’ll now get a crack at (almost) all the belts.

Kambosos is obviously a far cry from the likes of Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, and Devin Haney, both in terms of ability and marketability, but Lopez (16-0, 12 KO) would be wise to get this obligation out of the way. We’ve seen what happens when champions try to avoid IBF mandatories.

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