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Lomachenko TKOs Kambosos in rout, captures vacant IBF lightweight title

Sarah Stier / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Vasiliy Lomachenko outgunned and outclassed George Kambosos Jr. to become a world champion again.

In his first fight since May 2023, Lomachenko finished Kambosos via TKO at the 2:49 mark of the 11th round to capture the vacant IBF lightweight title Saturday at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.

Moments before the stoppage, Lomachenko landed a shot to the body that forced Kambosos to take a knee, resulting in the first knockdown of the match. As soon as the fight resumed, Lomachenko punished Kambosos' body with a few more punches, and the referee stepped in just as Kambosos' corner threw in the towel.

Lomachenko stepped into the ring for the first time since coming up just short against Devin Haney in an undisputed lightweight title bout a year ago. Lomachenko lost that fight by unanimous decision, but many - including Lomachenko himself - believed he did enough to win on the judges' scorecards.

Lomachenko dominated Kambosos, who's from Sydney, from pillar to post, likely winning all 10 rounds before the finish. The Ukrainian outstruck Kambosos 175-40 in total punches and 105-36 in power punches. He landed an impressive 50% of the power punches he threw. It was a clinical performance in which Lomachenko attacked Kambosos' head and body and controlled the bout's pace. Kambosos began bleeding in the eighth round after Lomachenko opened up a cut on his face with a right hook.

Saturday's title bout between Lomachenko and Kambosos was put together after Haney relinquished all four major lightweight belts last November to focus on moving up to junior welterweight.

Lomachenko has now won four of his last five outings. The 36-year-old previously held the WBC, WBA, and WBO lightweight titles between 2018-20. His first 135-pound title reign ended with a stunning upset loss to Teofimo Lopez Jr. in October 2020, but he scored three straight wins to get back into title contention and earn a shot at Haney. Lomachenko is also a former world champion at junior lightweight and featherweight.

With the lightweight division wide open, Lomachenko has several options for his next bout. His promoter, Bob Arum, mentioned WBA lightweight champ Gervonta "Tank" Davis, WBC titleholder Shakur Stevenson, and Emanuel Navarrete as potential opponents. Navarrete is scheduled to face Denys Berinchyk next weekend for the vacant WBO lightweight belt.

Kambosos, who rose to fame in the boxing world in November 2021 by upsetting Lopez to claim the WBA, WBO, and IBF lightweight belts, is now 1-3 in his past four appearances. Kambosos, 30, lost twice to Haney in 2022 before rebounding last July with a majority-decision win over Maxi Hughes.

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