I am not big on excuses.
This was the fight of George Kambosos’ life, and he put on a masterful performance. You don’t want to take anything away from him. He deserved the victory and all the belts.
With that being said, it has to be reported that Teofimo was going through many things before the fight that made him prime to be upset, and we are just finding out some of them today, like this serious medical issue he was dealing with.
Teofimo Lopez was risking his life and should have been in a hospital — rather than a boxing ring — when he lost his four lightweight belts to George Kambosos last week at Madison Square Garden, according to a doctor who subsequently examined him and reviewed his medical records.
“He could have died, for sure,” said Dr. Linda Dahl, an otolaryngologist (ENT) with surgical privileges at three prestigious Manhattan hospitals. “How he breathed, I can’t even explain to you. It’s like somebody tied a 300-pound set of weights around his chest … like his neck and chest were in a vise.
“That’s how he fought.”
“He’s lucky he’s not dead,” said Dr. Peter Constantino, executive director of the New York Head and Neck Institute. “I mean, really lucky.”
Teofimo was dealing with “pneumomediastinum” with “extensive air in the retropharyngeal space.” In laymen’s terms, this made it very hard to breathe and could have ruptured during the fight killing.
Teofimo was aware something was wrong with him, but he decided to fight anyway for various reasons, but the one being he was broke, and if he didn’t fight, he wouldn’t get paid.
“I thought it was just my asthma,” said Lopez, when asked why he didn’t divulge his symptoms to his manager or the athletic commission during his prefight examination on Friday. “I fought through asthma before. If I told everybody, they would’ve cancelled the fight. But I chose not to, because of the amount of pressure I was under. I didn’t want to hear people say, ‘Oh, another postponement.'”
By Saturday morning, said Lopez: “My neck is sore. My chest is sore. My throat is hurting. And I’m like, ‘I guess I’m just going to have to fight like this.'” Kambosos knocked him down in the first round.
“I don’t know how he went 12 rounds without being able to breathe,” said Dahl. “But he has air where it’s not supposed to be, and it’s dangerous for him to get on an airplane.”
Though Lopez was scheduled to have earned almost $3.2 million for the Kambosos fight, the lead-up marked an excruciating period in his young life. In August, he separated from his wife of just two years. In October he said he spoke of “thinking about killing myself” on at least three occasions this past year. That same month, his family — whom he supports and has frequently feuded with his wife — moved in with the young fighter. He left for New York on Nov. 20, just four days after seeing his son born. By fight week, Lopez said he had only about $20,000 left to his name.
Teofimo had to let go of his normal nutritionists because he couldn’t afford them because he was broke. That led to an improper weight cut and Lopez not looking very strong in the ring.
Teofimo needs to go back to the drawing board and really think about his life and what is important to him. He is 24-year-old and now a father. Even at this young age, he is at a fork in the road, and if he doesn’t make the correct turn, I worry about what will happen in the future.
Flip the pages for the highlights from the fight.