If Teofimo Lopez truly believes he was the recipient of an insidious plot in his title losing effort last year, George Kambosos Jr. is apparently willing to give him another shot.
Kambosos, the Aussie lightweight champion who wrested the IBF, WBA, and WBO 135-pound title from Lopez last November at Madison Square Garden in New York City, took exception to comments made by Lopez that suggested their fight was essentially fixed.
“Simple, like I told him after the fight, you’re delusional, brother,” Kambosos told FightHype.com when asked for his reaction. “You’re delusional. Get off whatever you’re on. Get yourself back in the gym. You’re a talented kid. I’m not gonna disrespect ya. But you need to zone in. You need to move away from certain people. It is what it is. That’s a thing in the past. I hope he does great with whatever he does in the future.”
Kambosos, 28, is currently scheduled to make a hometown defense of his lightweight belts against Devin Haney, the WBC 135-pound titlist, on June 5 at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. The fight, which is promoted by Top Rank Inc. and Lou DiBella, will be televised in America on ESPN. Should Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) win, Kambosos has a right to an immediate rematch.
Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) said he would not mind giving Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) another opportunity, even if it is at 140 pounds, the weight class Lopez expects to now campaign at, so long as it is in Australia. It has been reported that Lopez could return to the ring by the end of summer, potentially against junior welterweight contender Arnold Barboza Jr.
“You want to fight again, let’s fight again, come see me in my hometown now,” Kambosos said. “I’m always happy to do big fights. We’ll see. We could do it at 140, no problem.
“We could do it at middleweight for all I care. Weight is no issue for me. We’ll do it at whatever [weight].”
Despite the bad blood, Kambosos offered encouragement to Lopez, 24, and hopes that his words will offer him encouragement to turn his once promising career around.
“At the end of the day, I’ve said it will go two ways for him,” Kambosos said. “You either bounce back like a champion and come back, which we’ll have to wait and see, or you go down a bad road, which I think could be the case now.
“He’ll probably hear this and maybe it motivates him to focus and get him back in the gym."