Lomachenko stops Kambosos by TKO in 11th round


PERTH, Australia — Pound-for-pound megastar Vasiliy Lomachenko proved he still has plenty more left in the tank after battering and humiliating former unified world champion George Kambosos Jr. for 11 rounds at a capacity RAC Arena to capture the IBF lightweight title.

Just as he did in last year’s narrow and controversial loss to Devin Haney, 36-year-old Lomachenko (18-3, 12 KOs) showcased his unrivalled footwork and agility, demonstrated patience when required, and struck clinical combination attacks to not only leave Kambosos (21-3, 10 KOs) bloody and bruised, but his international boxing career in tatters.

Lomachenko was in utter control throughout and finished the fight in the 11th round after landing a flurry of body punches that dropped Kambosos.

The referee cleared the Australian to continue and Lomachenko went straight back to the body with another attack, this time forcing Kambosos’ corner to throw in the towel.

It’s Lomachenko’s first knockout since his ninth-round stoppage of Masayoshi Nakatani in June, 2021.

“Of course, I want to say big, big thank you to my team. My father, my coach. My family,” said Lomachenko after the fight. “I want to come back home to my family and spend time with my family.”

Kambosos may have been a 6-1 outsider to score against Lomachenko, but the Australian was someone who was no stranger to adopting and thriving off the underdog tag.

In 2021, Kambosos famously upset Teofimo Lopez by split decision at Madison Square Garden — still the American’s only loss to date — to take hold of a quartet of lightweight straps. It’s a fight that was named ESPN’s Upset of the Year and remains one of modern-day boxing’s biggest boilovers. He’d also never previously been stopped, making him a tricky opponent for the two-time Olympic champion.

But from the opening bell in Perth, it was evident the likelihood of a similar result was slim. The gulf in quality between the two fighters was clear as Lomachenko toyed with his opponent, landing the cleaner, heavier blows to the head and using that slick footwork to escape just about every one of Kambosos’ attacks.

It was vintage Lomachenko, who appeared totally unfazed in the ring. He did as he pleased, knowing an out-of-his-depth Kambosos could not repel it.

In the fifth round, Lomachenko very nearly knocked him down with a left hook. In the seventh round, he decided to switch up his tactics and hammer the body of Kambosos. It was a performance which suggested Lomachenko can still go toe-to-toe with the world’s best and make them look a class below.

“I’m a tough Aussie bastard. We don’t want to take easy fights. This guy is one of the best of all time in history,” Kambosos said after the fight. “He’s a true champion. He deserves that belt. I gave it my all. We’ll see what’s next.”

Earlier in the week, Bob Arum suggested Lomachenko could be in line to fight Stevenson if he was able to account for Kambosos. That fight remains firmly on the cards, with both fighters now eyeing potential unification of the lightweight division.

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