George Kambosos Jr. is set for a blockbuster return on November 3 when he fights Teofimo Lopez at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. It will be an intriguing matchup as both fighters have already won world titles and are looking to take their careers to new heights with this fight.
George Kambosos Jr. is ready to ‘shock the world’ in fight with Teofimo Lopez, as he gets a chance to return to his old form.
If George Kambosos Jr. has learned anything in 2021, it’s that navigating the sometimes opaque and unpredictable world of boxing requires the help of a smart lawyer.
But, despite a few false starts, the Australian is now only days away from fighting unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez in the greatest fight of his career (16-0, 12 KOs).
The plot of this bout seems like a poorly written Hollywood thriller, but it has regrettably become a reality for Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs).
Lopez’s positive COVID-19 test just days before their June 19 fight, disagreements over the date and venue change, a complete disintegration of the deal with original promoters Triller, a subsequent lawsuit, and both personal joy and grief have all contributed to the 28-year-old challenger’s 2021 being a “roller coaster.”
Whereas others may have taken a break from the grind, Kambosos insists that his concentration has never faltered and that he is ready to astonish the world and make Australian boxing history.
“Everyone knows Kambosos is mentally extremely powerful,” he told ESPN. “I’ve been extremely patient and have gone to work every day, day in and day out, knowing that each day will get me closer to my goal.” And when the time came to battle, I’d be 100 percent ready.
“I saw it as a war of attrition, where you were fighting yourself day by day to grow better and better — that’s how I saw it.” It takes time to win a war, and I’ve got that unshakable mentality. Eight weeks ago, I gave birth to my third child, a boy, and my grandpa, George Kambosos, died away on the same day. But, since I am the kind of warrior I am, I continued to train that day.
When Kambosos learned that Lopez had tested positive, he was already at his Miami hotel, waiting for the fight, but he claimed he still went to the gym to train after hearing the news.
“I haven’t taken my foot off the gas pedal in a very long time. That’s always been my personality, “According to Kambosos. “People tell me it’s been a lengthy preparation, and they ask if I’m burned out or exhausted, and I tell them, “This is too large to be fatigued.” I’ve wanted to do this since I was 11 years old, when I first walked into a boxing gym.”
While Lopez’s positive coronavirus test triggered a series of events that led to the attorneys’ involvement, it also gave Kambosos the opportunity to travel to Australia while talks about a date change progressed.
He had to go through the two-week hotel quarantine that any returning Australian had to go through at the time — something that country’s UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is already used to — but Kambosos was reunited with his family at the end of it.
And that, he adds, just spurred his drive to keep going in his quest for the WBA, WBO, IBF, WBC, and Ring Magazine lightweight crowns.
“It really solidified that desire, that inspiration” when Kambosos returned home to visit his children. “After being away from them for a while, I was thinking to myself, ‘you know what, this kid Teofimo Lopez, he’s taken everything for granted.’
“He spent a lot of time away from my kids, especially at a time when they had grown so much; it took me about a week and a half to get back into the flow of things [family routine] since they had changed so much.”
“And even now, at 7-8 weeks old, my infant is changing every day, and I can’t be there.” That’s the kind of sacrifice you’re willing to make.
On November 4, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Teofimo Lopez observes a media exercise at the City Athletic Boxing Gym. Getty Images/David Becker
“But that motivation, when I finally got to meet them and kept pushing through and grinding every day, lit another spark; not that I needed another spark or fire, but it did add fuel to the fire that was already burning brightly. I said I’m going to get this kid [Lopez], and when I do, he’ll pay for everything.”
While a new date, Nov. 27, and promoter, Matchroom Boxing, were ultimately acquired early last month, the experience of negotiating with the fight’s previous promoter, Triller, left Kambosos scarred.
Kambosos filed a lawsuit against Triller after alleging contract violations and conflicts, and the IBF eventually stripped the video-sharing social networking firm and sports marketing newcomers of the ability to arrange the bout.
The case against Kambosos is still continuing, as is the Australian’s learning curve in the business of boxing.
“One thing I’ve learned is that you need a solid legal team with you, the appropriate people with you,” he told ESPN. “I do have a very excellent team around me.” “However, things happen that are beyond of your control, and one blunder from the champ turned the entire thing sour.”
“From a legal standpoint, I’m not concerned with any of that at this time; I’m sure there will be further developments between Triller and the IBF, but that’s not my problem.” I’m focusing on winning this fight, winning these titles on a fantastic promotion like Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom, and bringing these belts back to Australia and bringing some major bouts Down Under [afterwards].
When Kambosos criticizes the Australian boxing scene, he is referring to a local market dominated by former footballers looking for a fast buck in the sport.
He admires his countryman Tim Tszyu’s accomplishments — the junior middleweight came one step closer to a world championship fight with a win over Takeshi Inoue in Sydney last week — but Kambosos believes he earned his place as an IBF mandatory challenger by working hard abroad.
People have finally realized this after a long slow burn.
“This is significant, and the support I received when I returned to Australia was incredible. When the fight was seeking for a new date, everyone was asking, “When is the fight on?” and “What is the new date?” Everyone was hyped and eager “According to Kambosos.
“It’s gone wild on social media, and everyone is looking forward to this battle.” And that’s a great achievement, not only in Australian boxing but in Australian athletic history, and I’ve achieved it the hard way.
“I’m facing the undisputed champ and the person who has all the titles, the 2020 Fighter of the Year, a top five pound-for-pound fighter in the world, that’s who I’m fighting against, not a guy who’s there to make them look good, that they’re hyping up for a specific agenda,” he said.
“When I return home with all the belts, Australia will know who the ruler of Australian boxing is.”
All of the build-up, diversions, and turmoil, as well as his drive for more recognition in his birthplace, will be gone when the bell rings on Saturday night.
And Kambosos is certain that just one outcome will be achieved in New York City.
When asked to characterize the contest, he replied, “On paper, this is a really excellent battle.” “This is a bout between two of the world’s greatest lightweights.” You have the current No. 1, who has all of the titles and was named Fighter of the Year in 2020 after shocking [Vasiliy] Lomachenko. On the other hand, you’ve got the No. 1 challenger, the mandatory, the guy who won his obligatory place by defeating another No. 1 challenger in Lee Selby in his hometown. As a result, this is a high-octane shootout.
“However, most people say I’m better at everything; I’m faster and more explosive.” They speak about his punching strength, but everyone who has ever been inside those ropes with me knows how strong I am. I’ve been sparring with junior middleweights and welterweights, and they can’t believe how hard I punch. As a result, everything I do improves.
“Even if they wanted to do 15 rounds the old-fashioned way, I’ll do 15 rounds for them. We are prepared for a great win and to astound the whole globe. Many people believe in me, and many others do not; the most important thing is that I believe in myself. And having that confidence and integrity is what distinguishes a champion.”
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George Kambosos Jr. is ready to “shock the world” in fight with Teofimo Lopez. The fight will be broadcast live on HBO from Las Vegas, Nevada. Reference: teofimo lopez vs george kambosos tickets.
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