Teofimo Lopez is reportedly heading for a title defense against George Kambosos this spring.
Kambosos is the mandatory IBF Lightweight Title challenger. Lopez holds the IBF, WBA (Super), WBO, The Ring, and WBC (Franchise) Championships. If he fights Kambosos next, it would be his second IBF Title defense and first defense of the rest of his gold.
It appears Lopez vs. Kambosos is on tap if a report from ESPN holds true. The sports media juggernaut reports that it’s looking like “The Takeover” and “Ferocious” will share the ring sometime this spring in the United States. This would solidify Bob Arum’s prediction that a fight in Australia wouldn’t be possible until the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
ESPN also notes that if Kambosos doesn’t agree to a deal this week, then the IBF will greenlight a purse bid on Saturday. A week and a half after the fact, the purse bid would officially be underway.
Here’s what Lopez told ESPN about facing Kambosos.
“The only thing that is holding it up [fighting Devin Haney] is my mandatory. I have to pay my respect to that guy. He fought his way up, the same way I had to fight my way up to be IBF lightweight world champion before I got to the point where I fought Vasiliy Lomachenko. I’ll deal with that process first, negotiate, see what happens, and if they agree with all the terms, that will have to be the guy. It’s not because it’s who I want but because it’s my mandatory. A lot of people say I’m ducking a lot of people, but I’m not. I got to go through the process — that’s just part of the game. If things go south, Devin Haney is the next guy, and hopefully we can make that fight happen without him trying to overprice himself.”
“I’m a true champion. I’m not letting go of any of my belts.”