All signs point to Teofimo Lopez defending his newly won IBF lightweight title against Vasiliy Lomachenko in a unification match early next year, but there’ll be an obligation waiting for him if he does manage to come out victorious. Mike Coppinger reports that the sanctioning body has ordered a final eliminator between its highest-ranked contenders, George Kambosos Jr. and Lee Selby.
Kambosos (18-0, 10 KO) is coming off of the most notable victory of his career, a competitive decision over former champion Mickey Bey on last weekend’s Terence Crawford-Egidijus Kavaliauskas card. The 26-year-old is a training partner of Manny Pacquiao’s and has picked up some IBF and WBA trinkets in his career.
Selby (28-2, 9 KO), a former longtime featherweight champion, is still looking to find his footing at 135 pounds after losing his title to Josh Warrington last year. His February divisional debut saw him outlast a game Omar Douglas, after which he narrowly edged Ricky Burns in a gritty UK battle this past October. He’s six years older than Kambosos, though the two have similar dimensions.
I can’t imagine either man giving Lopez or Lomachenko any issues, but taken on its own merits, this is a fine crossroads match.