By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing
IBF mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr spoke to Peter Maniatis about challenging unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez on June 19 at the LoanDepot Park, Miami, Florida.
TRAINING IN MIAMI
“I am training hard and about to fight Teofimo Lopez (in Miami on June 19) for the undisputed championship with five belts on the line, pound for pound and fighter of the year on the line. My career is on the line and I have put the hard work in.”
COMPARED TO ARTURO GATTI
“It’s an honor to be compared to the great Arturo Gatti who was a helluva warrior. I always come to fight very sharp and I box very good. A lot of people underestimate my boxing skills. Coming into fights with my Greek background and Spartan warrior heritage and Australian heritage. Being born in Australia means the world to me. I have two countries behind me. I have so many supporters from Greece and Australia and when you mix that together with both that blood inside of you, you cannot be beat. Lopez doesn’t know what he is up against.”
“I got under Lopez’ skin at the press conference. When I stared into his eyes and locked in he saw what he was looking at and I saw exactly what he is about. He is a FAKE – A FUGAZI – A FRAUD. He is going to be found out. These guys he has fought couldn’t speak English. The Nakatani fight was close and could have been a draw. He got lucky against Commey and against Lomanchenko who didn’t throw three punches in the first six rounds. He had an injured shoulder and had been out for about 400 days. I am young and hungry. Lopez is a bully. He likes to be the guy on the front foot who is dominant. When I stand and put it back on the bully he will go into a shell. June 19 I am taking all his belts. I told him that to his face at the press conference.”
SPARRING MANNY PACQUIAO
“That’s my Ace up my sleeve. People don’t know what I did in that sparring. There is so much more artillery I have in my arsenal. Manny is an all-time great. Lopez said Manny was not human. Well, I did 250 rounds with him. A couple of months ago Lopez said Pacquiao is a nobody and he would bash Pacquiao. That’s the sort of people they are. They are disrespectful and have no class at all. As I said – the guy is a fraud. I know I have the support of Manny in my corner. I heard that first hand and I am looking forward to talking to him very soon.”
THE PEOPLES’ CHAMPION
“Before I beat Lee Selby (in England) and Micky Bey (in New York) I beat the top guys in Australia. I beat Ogilivie and Bella who were rated number one. They were supposed to destroy me. I destroyed those guys. I showed my class so it has been a long road. It was a long journey to the United States and I have had seven fights having been fighting champions in their backyards. The Micky Bey and Lee Selby fights were huge for my career. When you go in the ring with these guys – crafty champions who defended their belts multiple times, you learn more and more. People saw in the Selby fight how I outboxed and outclassed a guy like that. They are going to see so much more in this fight. I will fight on another level.
“The support is crazy man. From Australia and from Greece. I have the biggest social media platform in the country. I feel like I am the peoples’ champ. I am not getting the mainstream media support I should be getting. This is the biggest fight for an Australian ever. Which other fighter from Australia has fought for the undisputed title and all the belts in one hit? Australian boxers don’t come to the United States and fight their champions in their backyard.”
BECOMING WORLD CHAMPION
“My plan is to win all these belts and coming back home to defend. When I am the kingpin they will have no other choice than to defend in front of 80,000 fans in the beautiful stadium in Melbourne. After that, we might take a big fight to Greece. I have a lot of dreams and a lot of visions. I dreamt about fighting Lopez and when you manifest it becomes true. When I have all the belts around me it will be a beautiful sight and a beautiful victory.”