GEORGE Kambosos Jr. is ready to show the world what he’s made of.
The brash young fighter from Sydney has been high on the list of Australia’s best fighters in recent years but he now has his sights set on world domination.
The path to world honours begins this weekend when Kambosos (17-0, 10 KOs) takes on former IBF world lightweight champion Mickey Bey (23-2-1, 11 KOs) at the iconic Madison Square Garden in New York.
Fighting at such a prestigious arena and on the undercard of one of boxing’s pound-for-pound best in Terence Crawford is exactly why Kambosos decided to take his career Stateside.
“I’ve gone from fighting local club shows to the Mecca of boxing,” Kambosos told Aus-Boxing.
“It’s the coliseum of fighting and it’s where every fighter dreams of fighting and for me to be there fighting a former world champion is the reason why I signed to come over here.”
But despite landing the biggest fight of his career to date, Kambosos’ last two years fighting away from home has also had its share of difficulties.
Landing a big name opponent has eluded the slick punching lightweight and even as he made his way to the U.S. for this date there was still no confirmation of an opponent.
“When I first got to Miami there wasn’t an opponent locked in,” he said.
“I was fighting on the (Crawford) card in a ten round bout but no opponent was fully locked in yet.
“There was a few names being thrown around but I said I wanted a former world champion or a top five guy.
“That’s what I’m chasing and what I wanted but where I sit at world number three people think that fights would happen automatically and these guys in the top ten would jump at the opportunity to fight a top three fighter but it just doesn’t happen.
“A lot of guys turn the fights down; a lot of world rated contenders don’t want to deal with us.”
Boxing is filled with political machinations and the age-old risk vs. reward conundrum makes securing big fights a test for all but the biggest of names but Kambosos feels his time in America is about to reach prosperity.
And whilst many Australian fighters dreams have been crushed by the enormity and quality of the American scene, Kambosos is steeled for such challenges and has drawn inspiration from two of Australia’s most exciting fighters.
“I’ve always looked up to guys like (Michael) Katsidis and (Lenny) Zappavigna,” Kambosos said.
“Guys who went to America to show what they’re made of.
“Some people said to me when I signed to fight in the U.S. that you can win your world title in Australia then go to the America but I want to go the hard road.
“You have to remember I don’t come from a distinguished amateur career, I’m not an Olympian or a world championship representative, I don’t have a famous father or a huge amount of sponsors behind me.
“I’m that guy that came from the local Croatian club, I’ve had to earn everything the hard way and that’s not about to change.
“I want to win that world title in America.”
Kambosos knows that winning this fight could well open up a plethora of opportunities, a world title included.
Some of the biggest names in the sport reside in the lightweight division and Kambosos knows he just might be in the mix should he make a big statement against Bey.
“It’s a very exciting time right now,” says Kambosos.
“Bob Arum has stated that he would consider a (Vasiliy) Lomachenko fight in Australia at some point.
“Obviously if (Richard) Commey beats (Teofimo) Lopez you would think a fight with Loma would make sense to happen next but making a big enough statement against a former world champion in Mickey Bey could change his mind.
“If Lopez beats Commey, I’ve heard from some people that they don’t see him going straight to Lomachenko and instead would look to a mandatory and that would be me so there’s a lot on the table but at the moment I’m fully focussed on beating Mickey Bey.
It’s clear that Kambosos is in the prime of his career and is excited by what the future brings. His work ethic as a fighter is well renowned in Aussie boxing circles and it’s this camp that has him fully confident of furthering his career and making his mark on American shores.
“This has been the best camp of my career and I’ve been in camp with Pacquiao three times,” Kambosos said.
“I’m physically the best I’ve ever been.
“Mentally I’m a very, very strong fighter but coming up against a former world champion at Madison Square Garden has me at a whole other level.
“I’ve had some great sparring with Amir Imam, (Xander) Zayas and Emmanuel Tagoe and iron sharpens iron.
“Come fight night the people are going to see the best version of Ferocious Kambosos they’ve ever seen.”
Words: Dan Attias/Follow Dan on Twitter
Photo: Getty Images