Teofimo Lopez may have relinquished his WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and The Ring lightweight titles to George Kambosos Jr. last weekend in a Fight of the Year candidate, but stuff could have been much worse for the 24-year-old fighter from New York.
Per a recent report by ESPN, Lopez fought Kambosos with air trapped in his chest. Lopez was originally cleared to fight by the New York State Athletic Commission, but after visiting the emergency room following his title fight loss doctors diagnosed him with “pneumomediastinum” with “extensive air in the retropharyngeal space.”
He could have died, for sure,” said Dr. Linda Dahl, a prominent Manhattan otolaryngologist (ENT). “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.”
“I thought it was just my asthma,” said Lopez when asked why he didn’t inform the commission of his issues. “I fought through asthma before. If I had 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.’”
The beaten boxer posted the following on Twitter,