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How did Jorge Camposos Jr. beat Teofemo Lopez and where are they headed from here?

NEW YORK – Teofemo Lopez was on top of the world.

With the victory over Vasiliy Lomachenko in December 2020, Lopez was instantly and globally recognized as one of the top 10 boxers in the world. With a great personality in addition to his success, Lopez was on the fast track to stardom.

Then came the first postponement of his title defense seemingly routinely against Jorge Camposos Jr., as Lopez tested positive for COVID in June. Chaos ensued, with eight date changes and several legal threats moving the fight into November, a different promoter, and a different streaming platform. Lopez, who hails from Brooklyn, was still home to the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden and was a favorite at betting 7 to 1.

But when they finally entered the ring on Saturday, Camposos made sure this fight was worth the wait. He took Lopez down in the first round and survived a 10th round knockout to record one of the biggest upsets of 2021 – turning a talented and ambitious lightweight team on its head.

“His session,” Camposos, 28, told ESPN. “From there, I changed the fight completely right away. He didn’t decide… We played boxing very smart, and you know what I showed? My boxing skills… Fight. And he closed it in the best way.”

Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) was already looking beyond Camposos toward what he hoped would be a huge three-fight 2022. He was hoping to start the year with a fight against 140-pound champion Josh Taylor, followed by clashes with Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis.

Of course, all of those potential confrontations were far from safe. In the wake of the horrific defeat, Lopez’s future is more uncertain than ever.

Lopez, 24, claimed to have won 10 rounds and was greeted with boos when he commented that making the weight consumed too much of him.

“I don’t care what other people say… I won this fight,” said Lopez, who entered the ring on Saturday as No. 7 in the ESPN ratings. “At the end of the day, I was here, I was here. Look, I’m not a loser; I take my wins like I take my losses. At the end of the day, I’m a real champion. I got out of here, I did what I had to do, I came out. And I did my best.. This is a change of leadership: we don’t stop, we keep fighting.”

The way his face has been marked and cut in both eyes tells a different story, and Lopez will definitely be out of the ring for a while. When he returns, Lopez will likely take his tried-and-true path back in boxing that includes a soft fight (or two) before heading off to another big fight. The next title shot is sure to come in at 140 pounds, but when it does it’s another matter.

What was supposed to be Lopez’s chance to regain momentum 13 months after being knocked out of the ring turned out to be a disaster. He has proven difficult outside the ring, but the biggest test of his career awaits him. How will you respond to your first professional loss and pedestal as a unified world champion?

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Camposos, on the other hand, is in uncharted territory. No one gave him many chances to win, and he was said to have won the lottery after taking the best purse of his career over $1.5 million. The Australian will follow at least another major push day in the star-studded lightweight division, and more may be so. This seemed far from a coincidence for Camposos (20-0, 10 KOs), who cornered 12 rounds very well against an elite fighter.

The winner of next week’s battle between Haney and Joseph Diaz Jr. is the main prospect. But there are also major rivalries with Davis and Ryan Garcia that could be on the table.

“There are a lot of potential ways and frankly there are 130 pounds looking at it, there are 135 pounds looking at it sideways and 140 pounds looking at it,” Camposus promoter Lou DiBella told ESPN. “He has the whole continent of Australia, where he is now the man. Now he is the number one athlete in Australia. He will have a lot of alternatives.”

Given what he accomplished in his win over Lopez and his stature as a free agent, with no ties to any television company, Kambosos also has a great deal of flexibility in terms of who he can fight, where he’ll take, and how to enjoy the spoils of claiming titles. Lopez worlds.

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“I think he’s going to sit back and take some time and enjoy the win,” Dybella said. Then we will find out the biggest battle we can fight.”

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