George ‘Ferocious’ Kambosos Jr 19-0 (10) is drawing inspiration from the Rocky movies ahead of his clash against undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez 16-0 (12).
The 28-year-old Australian is scheduled to face Lopez for the WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC Franchise and Ring Magazines titles at Madison Square Gardens in New York City on October 4.
The fight went to purse bids earlier this year when Kambosos was installed as the IBF mandatory challenger.
In a stunning move, American social media platform Triller swooped in to claim the rights to the fight with a bid of more than $6 million.
The reigning champion will take home 65% percent of the purse while the challenger will pocket 35%.
Lopez’s own promoter Top Rank put in an offer of $2.3 million. Matchroom Boxing, who are not associated with either boxer, bid $3.5 million.
The original fight date of June 19 was scrapped after Lopez tested positive for Covid-19.
Since then, the date of the bout has been shifted multiple times. It has recently been reported that the fight has been pushed back by another fortnight to October 16 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
If true, the move would mark the sixth proposed date for the fight.
“We’ve got that fantastic work because it’s been one big continuous camp. People say how long is your camp, but people who know Kambosos know I’m never out of the gym,” Kambosos said to Boxing Chat with Paul Nasari on 2BACR 100.9FM in Sydney.
“I’ve been ready since June 19th and I’ll be ready October 4th.
“When I was in the US I sparred 135 rounds with Arnold Gonzalez and Nathan Sosa, two undefeated fighters and real solid guys. When I came back to Australia after the Lopez stuff-up where he got Covid we were straight back into work sparring Lenny Zappavigna and Terry Nicholas, both strong boys, especially Lenny, very experienced, but Terry’s very sharp so they’re both giving me fantastic work. These are the quality guys you need to win these fights.”
“Ferocious Kambosos is the most focused fighter in the world. I’ve just adapted to the situation and rolled with the punches. The way I look at it is that every day I’m just getting better and better.
“This is going to be the worst for Teofimo Lopez. He has rested on his laurels and has been lucky enough to have that undisputed title while I’ve been working hard.”
On fight night, Kambosos is planning to bring ’82 back.
“I see a lot of similarities with Rocky III when Clubber Lang came up against Rocky in the first fight,” he said.
“We saw the Rocky enjoying his time, having a lot of fancy stuff around him and interviews and public workouts while Clubber Lang is just putting in the work. That’s what I feel, I’m Clubber Kambosos right now.”
A Kambosos victory wouldn’t be the first time and underdog has got up over the favourite. After all, the 24-year-old Lopez was a rank outsider when he snatched the world titles for pound-for-pound level fighter Vasiliy Lomachenko on points in Las Vegas last October.
Kambosos says he will send Lopez to the back of the queue when he wins.
“There’s no rematch clause in the contract, which is good because it’s exactly – he was given the same thing when he fought Lomachenko, there was no rematch clause in his last fight,” he said.
“It is perfect because when I beat this kid he’s going to have to go through all the games he has played with me. But I’ll be looking for bigger fights, like against Lomachenko, Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis. They are the guys I’ll be chasing straight after this fight and Lopez can go up to 140 like he has always been crying about. He’s struggling with the weight but he can do whatever he wants because he won’t have them belts.”
It is likely that Kambosos will miss the birth of his third child while he strives to achieve his dream, but that is a sacrifice he is willing to make.
“It’s been amazing and that’s what happens when you put a lot of hard work and sacrifice into it,” Kambosos said. “You put every bit of yourself into the sport and that’s what I do. I live this sport day in, day out. I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs or any of that sort of stuff that many boxer get mixed up in.
“I stay very focussed, I keep my tunnel vision and I teach all young fighters to take the right course and go through their local promoters like yourself and build your experience and build your way through because when you look at yourself five or six years later you’ll say ‘wow, I came from there to here’.”
Kambosos is acutely aware of what victory will mean and its historic significance.
“We’ve got that beautiful Ring Magazine title on the line as well, so that’s five belts that are going to come back to Australia,” Kambosos said.
“This is the biggest fight in Australian boxing history. I don’t remember another Aussie fighter who was born and bred here who has come through the circuit of the amateurs who has come all the way through to five world titles.
“Yes, we’ve had some great world champions, but this is huge, especially at Madison Square Garden.
“What a journey it has been. When you look back at just my last three fights – taking out Mickey Bey at Madison Square Garden, former world champion; taking out Lee Selby in his hometown of London, another former world champion and another very accomplished fighters; and now beating the undisputed champion in his hometown. That right there is a hall of fame career.”
At the presser to officially announce the original fight date, Kambosos taunted Lopez and clearly got under his skin. One particular line of attack was to question the champion’s ability to make weight. Lopez ripped his shirt off.
“I’m always cool, calm and collected,” Kambosos said. “I knew I was going to get under his skin. I knew my mental warfare and the games that I play and the things that I say was going to get under his skin. So I wasn’t surprised at all.
“When you looked at both fighters up there you would think that Kambosos is the undisputed champion and this was a challenger, losing his mind. But that’s how a true champion acts and that’s the way I am.
“In my head I’m the undisputed champion already and in a lot of heads I’m the champion already. I will win all of them belts and have it on paper. Everyone will know I’m the champion of the world.”
Source: Anthony Cocks