LONG feuding rivals George Kambosos and Kye MacKenzie appear to be on an inevitable course to meet.
On the back of an impressive US debut last weekend, news has emerged that Kambosos – previously fifth rated at lightweight by the WBA – was stripped of his WBA Oceania bauble and subsequent rating.
While this is yet to be confirmed officially, it appears that the New Zealand-based sanctioning body has stripped the undefeated lightweight for not facing his mandatory challenger, Kye MacKenzie.
In the days leading up to Kambosos’ first round demolition of Jose Forero in Connecticut, local matchmaker Stuart Duncan voiced his frustration at not being able to make a fight between Kambosos (14-0, 8 KOs) and MacKenzie (19-1, 16 KOs) earlier this year on a televised card.
“George isn’t in their top fifteen because he refused to face his mandatory challenger in Kye MacKenzie,” said Duncan in a statement on his Facebook page.
“Not quite fitting with the best prospect in Australia line is it now. Then go onto say how he is making his US debut against an opponent that can be watched via the promoters internet site. The icing on the cake is he is managed by Peter Khan, [the] same guy who threw Broadhurst under the Bivol bus.”
“I simply hate it when he was offered good money to defend his Oceania title against his mandatory challenger in Kye on the Mundine [versus] Browne card and they refuse saying they will come up with a date pre-March and don’t do it,”
The controversial words from Duncan were not well received by Kambosos’ team, led by recently appointed promoter Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment.
Despite the tempered statement, DiBella offered a polished response on behalf of his fighter.
“Stuart Duncan is a good boxing man and he’s entitled to his opinion,” said DiBella to Aus-Boxing.
“I’m not going to get into a nasty war of words over this. I’ve promoted or worked with hundreds of champion fighters over the last two decades and I believe I have a pretty good eye for spotting talent. I stand by my statement that George is Australia’s best prospect.”
“With respect to his last opponent, I’m not going to bring an undefeated world-rated fighter to America for the first time and throw him in tough. I needed to see the young man fight, live, with my own eyes.”
“I know how to build fighters, I know how to promote fighters, and I’ve got a great plan for George that I’m sure Aussie fans are going to appreciate.”
“Kye MacKenzie is a quality fighter,” he confirmed.
“We’re not ducking MacKenzie, but we don’t need MacKenzie, and nobody outside of Australia presently knows who MacKenzie is. George has already beaten the top two guys at lightweight in Australia in Ogilvie and Balla.”
“If MacKenzie keeps winning, he will fight George when the fight has international significance and makes money for both fighters. Now it’s time for George to build his name and showcase his talent in the USA.”