By Ray Wheatley – World of Boxing
Unbeaten IBF #3, WBO #5 lightweight George Kambosos (18-0, 10 KOs) spoke to Fightnews.com® about the IBF purse bid for the bout with Lee Selby (28-2, 8 KOs) and their sparring session at Wild Card Gym in 2017. He also talked about sparring 250 rounds with Manny Pacquiao, and how Pacman backed him to defeat world champion Vasyl Lomachenko, he also mentioned Bob Arum predicting the Kambosos v Lomachenko could be the biggest fight in Australian boxing history.
IBF Purse Bid
“Eddie Hearn asked if we would take a US$50,000 reduction off our purse of US$150,000 but we had a deal in place already and we didn’t go to purse bids. He knew we wouldn’t accept that so we had to go to purse bids which sucked up more time. It wasn’t about the money it was about standing strong. These big-time promoters get their way. We have a very good team and great management with Peter Kahn and my father Jim Kambosos who did a lot of work as well. We have a very good team and they were on the ball with everything.
“For me, I said “I don’t care.” Ferocious Kambosos will back up the purse bid. I put the money up – the money was coming from myself to back the purse bid. We are still waiting to hear from Eddie Hearn where the fight is going to land. Wherever Eddie wants to do it – in the USA – in the UK or on the Moon – I am prepared and ready to beat Selby. October 3rd was the original date but when they started playing games with reduction on purses we went back to the purse bid.”
(Purse Bid IBF won by Matchroom Boxing with of US$277,777 and US$260,000 by promoter Lou DiBella.)
Sparring Lee Selby at the Wild Card Gym
“Selby and me sparred years ago – about three or four years ago. At Freddie Roach’s Wild Card gym. Four rounds. I had him running for his life. Every time I touched him he was shaking in his boots. That was three or four years ago now – I am one hundred times faster and stronger now and more experienced. That is before I did 250 rounds with Manny Pacquiao. I am a different “BEAST” now to when I sparred Selby. If he thought he had a bit of trouble back then – this is a whole different beast. Faster more explosive – just a savage.”
Kambosos victory over Mickey Bey
“Mickey Bey was a very experienced fighter. He was with Mayweather for fifteen years. He was schooled by the Mayweather Team. Floyd’s second world champion. His credentials are massive. He was the world lightweight champion not the world featherweight champion like Selby. To be honest I feel Mickey Bey is better then Selby. We are already on track for a massive win. I am focused on Lee Selby being in front of me and I know I am going to do the business. I am going to get rid of him. No disrespect. I respect he is a former world champion and he had a lot of defenses at featherweight but this is a different time and a different era. This is a new generation. It’s my time, not his.”
(George Kambosos scored a ten round split decision over Mickey Bey at Madison Square Garden December 14, 2019)
Challenging Lomachenko in Australia
“I will be the mandatory to the winner of the Lomachenko v Lopez and if you have heard Bob Arum over the past few weeks and a few times last year as well, he wants to bring Kambosos v Lomachenko to Australia. All the unified titles in my weight division. Lomachenko wants to come to Australia. Everything is in a line. Obviously we have to do our job and Lomachenko has to do his job.
“It’s not an easy ask for Lomachenko as Lopez is a great young fighter but I think Loma will do the business. That’s it. There will be nothing holding it back. The Kambosos v Lomachenko will be the biggest fight in Australian boxing history. It will be bigger than Pacquiao v Horn. The biggest fight ever in Australia. I haven’t fought in Australia for four years So to come back to fight in Australia after earning my stripes overseas in America and Greece. Fighting former world champions and earning it the hard way. To comeback and fight the world’s pound for pound best for all the belts. That is Australia’s biggest fight. I will shock the world.”
Pacquiao said I would beat Loma
“Lomachenko definitely has flaws I can see. There is a lot of flaws. He is pound for pound number one. But to be the best you must beat the best. The 250 rounds sparring I did with Pacquiao and being explosive and a southpaw also being so fast and a bigger stronger man then Lomachenko and how I held myself in those sparring sessions. Even Pacquiao had said when Lomachenko came out and said he wanted to fight Pacquiao. Manny said who is this guy? You can fight him George. You can beat Lomachenko. I am very confident. I am one more fight away from fighting Lomachenko. I have been asking for this fight a long time. I have one more man in front of me. Lee Selby. I am focused on Selby to take him out. It’s in the works and it’s all going to align.”
(George Kambosos was Manny Pacquiao chief sparring partner 2017 – 2019. Jeff Horn, Lucas Mathysse, Adrien Broner fights)
Training in Australia during COVID-19
“I am training with Mick Akkawy in Sydney and I have my American team in Miami. Mick Akkawy and Javiel Centeno in Miami. I have sparred eighty rounds with Australian middleweight fighters. Big heavy solid guys. The American Team is looking forward to me doing the business. Javiel Centeno is a fantastic coach. I am the kind of fighter that loves to continue to learn. Every day I am learning more and more. We are ready. We are looking forward to bringing the whole camp together. Selby is the biggest fight for any Australian fighter this year. You got to think what comes out of this fight. I am going into someone’s backyard to fight another former world champion. I did it with Mickey Bey and now with Lee Selby. Then we got Lomachenko
“There is no other Australian fighter doing that. The only other guy I have to take my hat off to is Jason Moloney who is fighting Naoya Inoue. It’s a ballsy move and you must give credit to Moloney. It’s a tough fight but you must back your fellow Aussie.”
(Mick Akkawy is training George Kambosos in Sydney Australia during COVID-19 but Javiel Centeno is his leading trainer who is based in Miami)
Jury out on Tim Tszyu
“Tim Tszyu’s win over Jeff Horn was a good domestic win. It was good for Australian boxing. I look forward to seeing if Tim fights in the US. To fight some real international fighters. I feel Jeff had one fight too many. I think it’s time for him to retire. It was a good win for Tim. He done very well. I wish him all the best in his next move. We boxed hundreds of rounds together (when both trained at Tszyu Academy Gym) He has always been a very talented fighter. Obviously the bloodlines with (father) Kostya, I am looking forward to seeing the next step. What happens when Tim comes up against the top international guys who are young and hungry.
“I wish all Australian fighters who are chasing their dreams the very best. It is a very important time to continue to lift Australian boxing with some good guys coming through and me leading the pack. It’s time we started getting some world champions.”
(Tim Tszyu and George Kambosos were both trained by Igor Goloubev at Tszyu Academy Gym until 2016)
Final thoughts on the Lee Selby showdown
“I am bigger – stronger and more explosive than Selby. I have been working very hard during this COVID period. Physically the way I am punching hard. I am really coming into my prime now. I am 27 years of age. I am confident I will KO Selby inside the distance.”