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Doctors make ‘life-threatening’ discovery after Teofimo Lopez v George Kambosos boxing title fight

American boxing star Teofimo Lopez was suffering from a life-threatening condition during his shock title fight loss to George Kambosos Jr last week.

ESPN is reporting the 24-year-old former undisputed lightweight champion had a respiratory issue called “pneumomediastinum” when he lost his IBF, WBA and WBO belts to the Australian slugger at Madison Square Garden.

According to doctors who diagnosed him with the issue, which caused a dangerous build-up of air in his neck and chest, he could have easily suffered a collapsed lung during the bout.

“He could have died, for sure,” Dr. Linda Dahl told ESPN.

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“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 vice. That’s how he fought.

“The air was surrounding his chest wall and his heart and his neck — places where air is not supposed to be.

“If he was hit in the neck or the chest — a certain way, in a certain place — he could have developed a (collapsed lung).

“He would have instantly been down and unable to breathe and needing a chest tube.”

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Teofimo Lopez was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition after his loss to George Kambosos. Credit: Getty

Another doctor with knowledge of the diagnosis, Dr. Peter Constantino, declared Lopez is: “lucky he’s not dead. I mean, really lucky.”

Doctors told ESPN the likely cause of the dangerous build-up of air in the back of his neck and chest was a small tear in his esophagus, likely suffered during his weight cut.

Lopez said he began to feel symptoms of the issue before the weigh-in for the fight, with discomfort reaching peak levels on Friday night, the evening before the fight.

The American said: “I thought it was just my asthma. I been having asthma since I was 6 years old.”

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“I fought through asthma before. If I told everybody, they would’ve canceled the fight,” Lopez told ESPN.

George Kambosos Jr (right) celebrates during his epic title fight against Teofimo Lopez.
George Kambosos Jr (right) celebrates during his epic title fight against Teofimo Lopez. Credit: AAP

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