Getty Images

One year ago, boxing's lightweight division seemed ready for a huge boom period. 23-year-old Teofimo Lopez had dethroned longtime 135-pound king Vasiliy Lomachenko to unify three of the four recognized world championships in what seemed to be the final ushering in of a youth moment that also featured Devin Haney, Ryan Garcia and Gervonta "Tank" Davis. Then came George Kambosos to throw a bit of chaos in the mix.

The landscape of the lightweight division remains intriguing in the wake of Kambosos' stunning upset of Lopez this past Saturday in New York City. However, the texture of the map has changed significantly.

After the fight, Lopez, along with his father and trainer, Teofimo Lopez Sr., launched into conspiratorial talk suggesting he'd deserved the win but had been cheated by a system that had been working against him. Setting aside the absurdity that the boxing powers-that-be wanted a young, charismatic, heavy-handed American star to lose to an Australian with little name value, the biggest takeaway for the future was that Lopez and his father said the plan was now to move up to 140 pounds. It's a sensible decision and one that was likely coming win or loss because Lopez has struggled to keep his weight down as he's continued to grow into a man.

Suddenly, the lightweight division is left with three of four world championships in the hands of Kambosos, a man whose name had never entered the discussion about lightweight's bright future.

Kambosos holds much of the power now, as the man with the belts usually does. It would not be unheard of in boxing for Kambosos to fight a lower-tier opponent in his next fight, rather than Haney, Garcia or Davis. Kambosos said after his fight that opponents could come meet him in Australia. It's unlikely any of the top names at 135 pounds -- or their promoters -- would agree to those terms and Kambosos likely will have to cave on that in the future. First, however, could be a fight in Australia against an opponent of "appropriate" ranking in either the WBA, WBO or IBF. The Dec. 29 fight between Shuichiro Yoshino and Masayuki Ito for a minor WBO title is one to keep an eye on to potentially produce Kambosos' first challenger.

Haney and Davis are both set to take the next steps in their careers this coming weekend. Haney will defend his WBC lightweight title on Saturday, taking on Joseph "JoJo" Diaz Jr. It's an unusual fight in that Diaz was set to fight Ryan Garcia before Garcia was forced out of the fight due to a hand injury that required surgery. Despite being the champion, Haney began publicly demanding for Diaz to face him.

Haney is an undeniably talented fighter but one who has struggled to land big-name opponents, even as the division has been filled with them. A win over Diaz positions Haney for a potential four-belt unification fight with Kambosos, the exact kind of mega-fight in which Haney has insisted he would thrive. Of course, boxing has been nothing if not filled with upsets as of late and Haney was badly rocked by Jorge Linares in their May clash. A Diaz win would take down another name in the division while setting up a previously unfathomable possibility of Diaz vs. Kambosos with four world titles on the line.

For "Tank" Davis, a potentially thrilling fight with Isaac Cruz comes on Sunday night. Davis has hopped around divisions of late, showing that his tremendous power -- power that has made him a rising star in the sport -- can carry up in weight. While there's been a lot of talk of the belts Davis has collected, his titles at lightweight and junior welterweight are secondary belts, not true world championships.

Should he do the expected and dispatch another legitimate opponent in Cruz, Davis could finally begin hunting for a true world championship at 135 pounds. Or maybe three of them, should he win the Kambosos sweepstakes.

Garcia is also still in the mix as a young superstar with big skills and incredible marketability by way of being one of the few boxers to fully take advantage of the power of social media. His most recent win, a knockout of Luke Campbell in which Garcia had to pick himself up off the canvas, was the best of his career. However, further attempts to build on that win have stalled out as Garcia passed on a fight with Haney and took time out of the ring to deal with mental health, a decision that, fair or not, was widely criticized by a segment of the boxing base. His planned fight with Diaz would have been a huge one, but his injury once again delayed his return.

Of course, Garcia was quick to point out that he wants to face Kambosos after recovering from his hand injury, further proof that Kambosos' status as the true king of the lightweights is considered temporary by his peers.

All the talk of the young core of stars ignores the potential for a return of the former king. Vasiliy Lomachenko is set to face former world champion Richard Commey on Dec. 11. Lomachenko had been a dominant force and undeniably one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport before running into Lopez in October 2020. Lopez fought the fight of his life that night to score the upset, but Lomachenko came back with a dominant performance against Masayoshi Nakatani in June, easily handling a fighter who had given Lopez fits.

Lomachenko won't be on anybody's list of most-desired opponents, with true elite skills that give him the chance to make anyone look bad on any given night. But with a win over Commey, it will be hard to deny him an opportunity to once again ascend to his throne.

While Kambosos' upset has certainly shaken things up at lightweight, even allegedly bouncing Lopez to 140 pounds, the division remains healthy, intriguing and full of possibilities. It's now time for lightweight's best to sort everything out in the ring, beginning with Haney and Davis this weekend.