With Teofimo Lopez turning the lightweight division upside down a bit on Saturday when he beat Vasiliy Lomachenko to unify three world titles, the big question of what’s next for the 23-year-old star is on everyone’s mind.
There are plenty of bigger options, but George Kambosos Jr and Lee Selby will both look to force their way into the conversation when they meet in an IBF eliminator on Oct. 31, part of Matchroom’s Usyk-Chisora card.
Selby (28-2, 9 KO) is a former featherweight titleholder and will have relative home field for the bout, whatever that’s worth at the moment, and he’s also been tested a good deal more in his pro career. The 27-year-old Kambosos (18-0, 10 KO), however, feels there are lessons to be learned from Lopez beating Loma.
“This is a young man’s sport and Lopez proved that against Lomachenko, and I will prove it once again against Lee Selby,” the Australian said. “This hungry young lion will become mandatory, that is my complete focus, this is why I have sacrificed so much and then you best believe that ‘Ferocious Kambosos’ will be primed and ready to take all the belts off another hungry, young lion in Teofimo Lopez. Let’s see who the real king of the jungle is.”
The Selby-Kambosos winner will basically have their argument for being in the top 10 of the 135-pound division, probably really just the No. 10 spot itself, which Selby currently holds in our rankings.
But getting a mandatory spot is huge for a lot of fighters, especially those who aren’t big, big names and aren’t necessarily top priority at a major promotional outfit. It will mean that even if the winner of this fight doesn’t fight Lopez — say Lopez moves up to 140, which is possible — they’ll have a fight for the IBF title waiting.