George Kambosos wants to shock Teofimo Lopez
By Matt Lieberman: IBF mandatory George Kambosos Jr (19-0, 10 KOs) says he’s ready to “shock the world” when he challenges IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs) next for his titles.
There still isn’t a date set for the Teofimo vs. Kambosos fight, but it’s likely to be announced soon by Triller. They won last Thursday’s purse bid with a giant $6.2 million bid, which was almost three times what Teofimo’s promoters at Top Rank bid for the fight.
Kambosos will be getting a massive $2 million payday for the fight Lopez in what is expected to be a clash shown on Triller pay-per-view, possibly on the undercard of the exhibition match between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
Although very few boxing fans are giving the 27-year-old Australian Kambosos a chance of beating Teofimo, he believes he’ll get the job done.
Kambosos has picked up experience as a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao, and he’s trained with 20 world champions during his eight-year professional career.
The 23 rounds of sparring that Kambosos has weathered with Filipino star Pacquiao could prove to be especially valuable to assist him in dethroning the unbeaten Teofimo.
Perhaps what could prove to be the most valuable thing that Kambosos may have learned from his training with Pacquiao is the importance of pressure.
That’s something that Pacquiao has used throughout his career to wear down his larger opponents, and that’s something Kambosos will need for him to rip the four titles away from Teofimo.
As we saw in Teofimo’s last fight against Vasily Lomachenko, he doesn’t handle pressure well, and he quickly unravels when forced to fight hard for a full three minutes of each round.
Kambosos: Lopez didn’t have it hard like I have
“Yes, that motivates me to create history in Australian boxing, and it motivates me to go down as the best fighter ever in Australian boxing,” said George Kambosos Jr to Fighthype when asked about his thoughts on potentially becoming a unified champion at 135 if he beats Teofimo.
“That’s no disrespect to any great fighter that has come before my time,” Kambosos continued. “All these greats that have come before my time have helped me and paved my way to get to where I am.
“This is huge [Teofimo fight]. Facts are facts, numbers are numbers, this is massive. That motivates me, my family motivates me, my two kids motivate me,” said Kambosos.
“Everything that I’ve been through in my career, I’ve had the hard road. Lopez has not had a super hard road like I’ve had.
“I’ve traveled all over the world, going into the lion’s den, going into the hard gyms where I come from in Australia, and sparring against the best fighters in the world,” said George.
Teofimo was a blue-chip prospect when he first turned professional in 2016 after an impressive amateur career. Like many former top amateurs, Teofimo has been given the red carpet treatment since turning professional and signing with Top Rank.
Working as a sparring partner for Pacquiao
“Going in as Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner, getting tested to see if you’re worth to be a sparring partner,” said Kambosos.
“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 show what I’m about.
“Many things,” said Kambosos when asked if he learned things in the sparring sessions with Manny Pacquiao that he can take into his fight with Teofimo.
“23 rounds with Pacquiao and coming out no problem. I love Pacquiao, he can tell you the same thing. ‘Kambosos is a killer, Kambosos can win this fight.’
“There was talk back then when I was sparring Pacquiao that Lomachenko wanted to fight Pacquiao, and Manny was turning around and saying, ‘George, you go fight [Lomachenko]. You’ll beat him.'”
Kambosos should take what Pacquiao said about him beating Lomachenko too seriously, as that’s likely something he was saying to be nice.
Lomachenko has too much experience and technical ability for Kambosos to march into a fight with him and be expected to have his hand raised at the end. Kambosos’ youth, power, and motivation would make a fight between him and Lomachenko competitive, but there would only be one winner in that match.
Kambosos needs more experience, and he’ll get that from the Teofimo fight, as long as he’s now blown out quickly.
Kambosos has had a lot of preparation
“So start putting two and two together,” Kambosos said. “It’s exciting, I’ve had a great preparation. Throughout my career, every sparring I’ve done with different world champions, and it’s been about 20 of them.
“I’ve sparred 20 world champions, it’s all let to this moment. This will be the biggest moment, the biggest victory of my career, and the biggest victory for Australian sport ever.
“This is massive. I love all the fans that support me. The ones that are with me, thank you; the ones that are against me, thank you as well because you guys motivate me.
“I’ve had many fans that have been against me in the past. I was never meant to be even close to where I am today, and many of them have come back and said, ‘We’re with you now, we support you, sir.’
“I hope after this fight [with Teofimo], you open your arms and support me to bigger and better things,” said Kambosos Jr.
All the work that Kambosos has put in should prove valuable for him when he shares the ring with Teofimo in the coming months.
Kambosos need to focus on his defense as he attacks Teofimo, as he hit too much in his last fight against Lee Selby in October of last year.
Kambosos won a 12 round split decision over Selby to earn the IBF mandatory position, but it was a fight that was a little too close.
A big factor in why the contest was close is Kamboso’s lack of defense, which allowed Selby to hit him with virtually everything he threw. If Kambosos gets hit with the same consistency against Teofimo, he won’t last long.
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