George Kambosos Jr seems to have almost the same huge amount of confidence going into his fight with lightweight champ Teofimo Lopez that Lopez had when he was approaching his crack at glory against Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Like Lopez before him, Kambosos is showing no nerves, no signs of anything other than utter belief. As good a talker as Lopez, the Australian makes somebody who listens to him go away thinking, yeah, maybe he will beat Teo when the two fight (Triller having won that surprise purse bid last week).
The IBF mandatory challenger having beaten Lee Selby last time out to improve to 19-0(10), Kambosos spoke with Fight Hype and the 27 year old spoke about the “hard road” he has had to travel on, and about the vast amount of hard and top-class sparring he has had – including the 23 tough rounds he did with all-time great Manny Pacquiao.
Kambosos believes he’s had things way tougher than defending champ Lopez, 16-0(12), has had things during his career.
“I’ve had the hard road. Lopez has not had a super high road like I have – traveling all over the world, going into the lion’s den, going into the hard gyms where you’ve come from Australia, sparring the best fighters in the world, going as Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner; getting tested to see if you’re worth his time to be his sparring partner,” Kambosos said.
“Three camps later, 23 rounds later, I’ve proved where I am. I’ve earned my stripes, and it’s time to shock the world and really show what I’m about. To f*****’ do 23 rounds with Pacquiao and come out no problem – I love Pacquiao and he can tell you the same thing, ‘Kambosos is a killer. Kambosos can win this fight.’”
Kambosos said that at the time of his sparring with Manny, Pacquiao was telling him he should fight Lomachenko, that he could beat him.
Kambosos says he has sparred 20 world champions in all, yet it sure seems he is most proud of the way he hung tough with Pac-Man. Kambosos has shown skill and talent in his fights yet it is his sheer mental strength and belief that is perhaps most impressive, most persuasive.
Lopez is a significant favorite in this fight, expected as he is to win and then go onto have far bigger fights with the likes of Ryan Garcia and Devin Haney.
But Kambosos is for real, he is as hungry as can be and he fully believes the hardships he has endured during his career have served him well, that “it’s all led up to this moment.”
“This will be the biggest moment,” Kambosos said. “This is massive.”
If he can defeat Lopez, it will be massive indeed. As will his name.