Despite wanting a crack at WBC champion Devin Haney, pseudo-undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez looks poised to face IBF mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr his next time out. ESPN reports that the two are “likely” to meet in “early spring;” though an Australian locale with a full audience was on the table, the current “intention” is to stage it stateside “due to COVID-19 restrictions and quarantine requirements in Australia, among other things.”
If Kambosos’ team doesn’t agree to a deal this week, the IBF will send a letter for a purse bid Saturday. Approximately a week and a half after the letter is sent, a purse bid would be set to lock in the pay structure of a fight. If Kambosos still doesn’t accept the purse bid deal, Lopez and Top Rank will seek to move on to other, more appealing options.
For all the “Four Kings” talk, the lightweight division is a bit of a disorganized mess at the moment. Interim WBC champ Ryan Garcia appears dead-set on a fight with Manny Pacquiao despite Golden Boy’s naysaying, Haney may or may not have Javier Fortuna looming, and I genuinely have no clue where Gervonta Davis is going from here; it’s not like the WBA’s ever going to enforce anything.
Frankly, I’m fine with Lopez (16-0, 12 KO) getting this out of the way while the rest of the motley crew sorts itself out. Kambosos (19-0, 10 KO) is a genuine top-10 lightweight despite his lack of prestige and could very well give Lopez more trouble than expected.