Kambosos To Leave Respect For Lomachenko Aside In Bid To Become ‘Lightweight King’

April 9, 2024
1 month
George Kambosos Jr trains for his bout against Vasiliy Lomachenko

Former unified lightweight world champion George Kambosos says he has enormous respect for upcoming opponent Vasiliy Lomachenko, but he will set that aside in a bid to rule the division once again.

Kambosos (21-2-0 10 KO) faces three-division world champion Lomachenko in a blockbuster bout in Perth, Australia on May 12. The vacant IBF lightweight world title, and the minor IBO world title, will go to the winner.

For both fighters, it represents a perfect opportunity to become a world champion again. Lomachenko (17-3-0 11 KO) previously held the WBC, WBA, and WBO belts but lost the latter two in a points defeat to Teofimo Lopez in October 2020. The Ukrainian was stripped of the WBC title after failing to defend it.

Kambosos then won the WBA, WBO, and IBF belts in Lopez’s first defense, shocking the American via split decision in November 2021. Facing Devin Haney in an undisputed bout in June 2022, the Australian was comfortably beaten on the scorecards and again in the immediate rematch five months later.

Kambosos Full Of Praise For Lomachenko

Lomachenko then fought Haney for all four belts in his second undisputed title defense, but came up just short in a narrow points defeat.

Having seen their careers intertwined through fighting the same opponents for the same belts, Kambosos and Lomachenko will now go toe-to-toe in Perth for the chance to be champion.

The Australian says he’s aware of the challenge that awaits him against a future Hall of Famer, but insists he is ready to showcase his skills and keep the belt in his homeland.

“This is the guy who was formerly the pound-for-pound No 1 fighter in the world, a three-division world champion, a two-time Olympic gold medallist,” Kambosos told Sky Sports. “So we totally understand his accolades, we respect him of course with what he’s done and outside of boxing he’s a very good figure for sport.

Kombosos Ready To ‘Reign’ Again

“But we respect what we’ve been able to do, too. Styles make fights. And the way we both bring that action, it’s gonna be something special. I truly believe this is going be a memorable fight.

“As a man, as a person, as a fighter, you can’t fault the guy. But with all that respect, when it comes down to May 12, that respect is out the window and I’m coming to take his head out, and I’m sure he’s going to come and do the same thing to me.

“One career will continue and go back to the number one lightweight in the world, back to lightweight supremacy. Their reign will continue and the other guy, unfortunately will not be able to progress where they want to be. And I’m very confident with my preparation and the way I’m feeling right now that I’ll be that guy to continue my reign.”

Whoever wins will take what they believe will be their rightful place at the top of a lightweight division stacked with talent. At present, only two world titles are claimed at 135lbs – the WBC by Shakur Stevenson and the WBA and Gerovonta ‘Tank’ Davis. The WBO belt is also vacant.

Winner To Be Among ‘King Of The Lightweights’

The victor will also look to move on to other lucrative and glamorous bouts, while inevitable questions will be raised over future career plans for the loser.

“A win would put me back to the king of the lightweights,” said Kambosos. “I was there not so long ago. Devin Haney was the last guy there, he’s vacated, so if we go back on history I’m one of the last one of the lightweights that was king.

“It would push me back in that position. It puts me back to where I want to be, where I’m motivated to be. And I’m 30 years of age. My road continues, my opportunities for bigger fights with the guys like Gervonta Davis, Shakur Stevenson continues and that’s what I want, the biggest fights.

“If I can’t get over a guy like Lomachenko then that opportunity really does not present itself anymore. I know what’s at risk. I know what’s at stake for this kind of fight, but that is what is motivating me more and more. The bigger the task, the bigger the fight, the better Kambosos will come to the fore and be prepared – so we know what we have to do.”