Trust me. I get it. it’s hard to lose.

We all experience it at times. It hurts.

Being on the world stage, and losing, has to be extremely difficult.

Teofimo Lopez was a huge favorite to defeat George Kambosos Jr. last weekend. Not Buster Douglas odds [32-1], but substantial still. Nobody in the boxing community predicted he’d lose. Most, including Lopez, forecasted a knockout victory. He was returning home, the conquering hero.

Apparently, Kambosos, an Aussie with little fanfare, except from himself, didn’t get the memo. Heading into the bout, his confidence was supreme. Even after the match was postponed numerous times, Kambosos remained steadfast. He’d win. We all nodded.

You need confidence to fight. The more, the better. Personal belief has to carry the day. One has to believe.

Lopez believed. His confidence never wavered last year when he faced, arguably, the best fighter on the planet last year, Vasyl Lomachenko. Lopez won by taking almost all of the early rounds while Lomachenko moved but didn’t do the most important thing in boxing, punch. The scores were unanimous for Lopez.

Last Saturday night in the city that never sleeps, Lopez was so sure he’d win that he told everyone that he’d come fists blazing in the room. Kambosos heard this. He was fine – said something about knocking Lopez on his ass if he tried. Lopez tried, and Kambosos caught him with an overhand right. Down goes Lopez.

One would think that getting floored for the second time in your 17-fight career might be something of a wake-up call.

No. Lopez is trained by his father Teofimo Lopez Sr. Instead of reminding his son to set up his shots, Sr. asked why he hadn’t knocked out Kambosos. After one round. After going down. Reality check, please. Lopez can punch, but he’s not King Kong.

Lopez was on his own all night. All his trainer father did was tell him he’s winning the fight. Not good or helpful.

So I guess it was not surprising that when Kambosos won, Lopez came a little undone.

“The referee raised my hand,” said Lopez, bleeding from a wicked cut over his left eye. “I won tonight. I don’t care what anybody says. Yo! I won tonight.”

Yo! Teofimo. No, you didn’t. You lost. The only other person that thought you won was your “alternate reality” father.

“This game, you got’ta knock everybody out,” said Lopez Sr. ” If you don’t knock everyone out, this is what happens. It was a complete robbery.”

A complete robbery.

Robberies happen far too much in boxing. I just saw one last month in London when

Connor Hatton, son of former world champion Ricky, “lost” five of six rounds against virtual unknown Sammi Martinez. As I watched, I dreaded the predictable outcome. No way a Hatton could lose at home.

He got the decision by a point.

I let out a four-letter word. Even the pro-Hatton crowd booed.

Lopez lost. He needs to accept and learn from it. He’ll be back. The kid is good. I was disappointed when Lomachenko started spewing conspiracy theories after his defeat at the hands of Lopez.

Losing with class is hard. Especially nowadays. Callum Smith said this after being defeated several months ago by Canelo Alvarez.

“I’m devastated,” Smith said. “I came here to win. No excuses, he was very good.


What a concept.

Source: John J. Raspanti