Boxing Results, Takeaways: George Kambosos Steals the Spotlight; Fulton vs. Figueroa becomes an instant classic

From a big surprise in an easy championship bout to a 122-pound war of unification, Saturday’s boxing provided a multitude of exciting moments. And that doesn’t even take into account the possible introduction of a new sport by the Triller Fight Club.

In what was already a fantastic year for boxing, this was an almost perfect night in the office with three completely different combat cards. Let’s take a closer look at the biggest takeaways for a Memorable Night in Sweet Science.

1, Stephen Fulton Jr.-Brandon Figueroa was nothing short of an instant classic

As rare as it is that two undefeated champions compete against each other at the height of their physical bests in a title union match, it is even rarer that they voluntarily compete in a phone booth match for 12 dynamic and intense rounds. Saturday’s 122-pound unification fight, which Fulton won by majority decision, is likely to go down as the best fight of the 2021 weight class. The styles between the two exciting fighters contrasted so perfectly, but the efforts of both equally left fans in awe after such relapse. The scorecards could have gone either way in the end as it was so difficult to score, considering both Fulton’s success with cleaner shots and Figueroa’s inevitable rally at the end of every lap that Fulton takes on Ropes nailed and attached to the body.

The fight was comparable to the recent Showtime classics played in and around the division, including both the Israel Vasquez-Rafael Marquez trilogy and the classic dueling pair of Leo Santa Cruz and Carl Frampton. The fight not only met but exceeded his high expectations as a hardcore fan’s dream and was the perfect outcome for the network after investing so much in the division over the past year. While Fulton could very well be the best 122-pound boxer in the world and a true rising star, the results of this fight remain controversial at best, given how close it was. Fulton also has to prove himself against his Unified Champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev, who holds the IBF and WBA titles in addition to his WBC and WBO crowns.

2. Inactivity and overconfidence destructively end the easy reign of Teofimo Lopez Jr.

Lopez, the 24-year-old phenomenon, suffered the first setback of his professional career in the mandatory defense of his uniform lightweight title against George Kambosos Jr., which was supposed to be just a formality. Instead, it was a 12-round war in which both fighters hit the canvas. But all of the negative circumstances that delayed that fight a total of nine times across multiple networks (including an embarrassing win and Triller Fight Club decay) held Lopez back. Not only did it look like a 13-month layoff slowed Lopez, who was shockingly dumped with a counter-right hand in the opening round, but the adversity that followed created a number of intangibles issues. Lopez’s game plan was terrible from the start as he was looking for a knockout and never again tried to win rounds behind his jab, even after being knocked down.

Lopez gave way too many rounds away because he wasn’t busy enough, even after he rallied to drop Kambosos on round 10, only to let him off the hook on the following round. Worse still, Lopez’s cheeky father and coach gave his son anything but solid championship tips in the corner between rounds. Lopez’s father switched between urging his son to knockout and saying that he had clearly won rounds that seemed very close to the naked eye. To make matters worse for Lopez on that disastrous night that ended in split, his post-fight lawsuit on the scorecards (including claims he should have won 10-2 on rounds) indicated his lack of it Maturity. Lopez is young enough to grow significantly from this setback, but much of it appeared to be self-inflicted.

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3. Let’s pay some respect to the name of George Kambosos Jr.

Not only was Lopez an overwhelming favorite, but most of the conversation revolved around the time he would quit the undefeated Kambosos to leave a disastrous year of inactivity and the dark side of boxing politics behind. Instead, Kambosos’ own story of insistence was largely overlooked, especially after such contrasting life events from the birth of his first child and the death of his grandfather during the extended training camp. While Lopez played a role in his downfall that evening, the result only came about because Kambosos fought the battle of his life. The native Australian not only showed an incredible heart, his game plan was also solid. Kambosos turned out to be a much better boxer and counterattack than announced in a step-up performance in which he also increased his game. Given Lopez’s history of difficult weight reductions at 135 pounds, whether or not he pulls a rematch with Lopez, the future should be bright for Kambosos as the lightweight division is burdened with the likes of Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis and Vasiliy Lomachenko.

4. Triad Combat turned out to be Triller’s best offering so far

The Triller Fight Club’s hope of being a true disruptor in the boxing advertising game has never really been fulfilled. In fact, everything was from scary to weird. But Saturday’s shoot of a more hybrid fighting style that blends boxing and MMA rules into an overall team format where the martial arts compete against each other turned out to be pretty fun. While the idea of ​​a triangular fighting area with no hiding spots is anything but unique – in fact, Triller was sued in advance by the BYB Extreme Bare Knuckle Boxing Promotion, the home of Trigon – it certainly kept its promise, violence and sustainable action.

Sure, the show was chunky at best, with far too many outrageous claims about Triller CEO Ryan Kavanaugh, who is revolutionizing the martial arts world. The addition of a live Metallica concert was a plus too, much like Triller’s recent forays into hip-hop, only if it suited your personal musical tastes. But the team format of battle legends Shannon Briggs and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who practice their respective disciplines, proved decently compelling because of their personalities (which included multiple references to a future triad battle between them) and the presence of the entire team scoreboard. The experiment of leveling the playing field between the two sports somehow worked too, largely due to the number of boxers on the map who were either washed up, journeyman at first, or both. However, this very desperate pivot of “old boys struggles” and the failed attempt at legitimately turning to a new hybrid sport could buy Triller some time, provided his war chest doesn’t run out.

CBS Sports was by your side at both events on Saturday. So be sure to keep track of the live results and highlights below.

Results, highlights

  • George Kambosos def. Teofimo Lopez (c) by split decision (115-111, 113-114, 115-112)
  • Stephen Fulton (c) def. Brandon Figueroa by majority vote (114-114, 116-112, 116-112)
  • Kenichi Ogawa def. Azinga Fuzile by unanimous decision (115-110, 115-110, 114-111)
  • Ra’eese Aleem defeated Eduardo Baez by majority decision (95-95, 96-94, 98-92)
  • Gary Antonio Russell def. Alejandro Santiago by majority vote (95-95, 96-94, 96-94)

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