GEORGE Kambosos could be Australia’s best chance at winning a legitimate world title in the calendar year.
The unbeaten lightweight, who has worked his way into a credible position with several major sanctioning bodies, is within reach of a world title opportunity having been ordered to face former IBF titleholder Lee Selby in the coming months.
However, his swift rise towards world level has been unseen by many, with the 26-year-old picking up a slew of wins on untelevised portions of high-profile cards abroad.
Over the course of 2019, Kambosos scored dominant wins over Filipino veteran Rey Perez in Vegas, Richard Pena in Athens, alongside his most recent victory at the famed Madison Square Garden.
Leading broadcaster Ben Damon, who called the last hometown win for Kambosos in 2016, laments the lack of television time for the Sydney-based contender, who maintained his unblemished record away from a televised platform.
“That’s the real shame of this journey of George Kambosos, is that we haven’t been able to embrace it,” Damon told Hurt Business Radio.
“For example, that fight (against Bey), was the first fight of the card, the first of seven fights. It was at 5.45 in the afternoon local time and it wasn’t on the international broadcast.
“Even if it had been picked up by Fox Sports or Main Event in Australia, you wouldn’t of been able to see George’s fight. It wasn’t part of the international broadcast that was offered. It was broadcast on ESPN+ in the US, but only very early on with their B commentary team before the main card got started.
“That’s the real pitty of what’s George is doing overseas. He’s an outstanding talent, someone with personality in the game who can really get a big fan base in Australia. But his fights aren’t broadcast at the moment.”
With a deal between the teams of Kambosos (18-0, 10 KOs) and Selby (28-2, 9 KOs) yet to be finalised ahead of the January 11 deadline, Damon forecasts a televised opportunity ahead given the significance of the looming clash.
“You’d have to assume that this eliminator that he has, hopefully it can be finalised, would be in a capacity to be broadcast somewhere,” he explained.
“It’s a real pitty that there hasn’t been done to build that audience on the way through, so that when this comes along, it’s a commanded as a major event in Australia or internationally. You’d think he gets his chance now.
“Unless they (the eventual promoter) decides to put it on one of their US cards, it’s probably not a main event, so it’ll work as an undercard on another show.
“You would expect in which case, it could end up anywhere, who knows what they do with it? Who knows what time and whether it is available for broadcast.”
Having secured a career-best win over former lightweight champion Mickey Bey to close out 2019, a different stylistic match-up against Selby is on the cards for Kambosos, who could secure an eventual meeting with recently crowned IBF ruler Teofimo Lopez.
Despite the contrasting styles, world rated super middleweight Jayde Mitchell believes that the Australian is more than capable of upsetting the favoured Welshman.
“Stylistically, it’s such a different fight to Bey,” Mitchell explained.
“We haven’t seen enough of George recently, but I’ve been a believer of him since I saw him be so dominant against Qamil (Balla). He made him look ordinary on the night, it’s just hard to see, even though we see everything on social media.
“Lee Selby is a monster, even for lightweight. He’s a monster for the weight, he’s a big man, he’s tried and proven and it’ll be a world title eliminator with so much on the line with this fight.”
The thoughts of Mitchell were echoed by Damon, who is optimistic of a Kambosos win, even if he enters the official IBF lightweight title eliminator as the underdog.
“It looks a tough fight… Mickey Bey is 36 and had one fight in three years, it’s hard to line that up,” he concluded.
“Lee Selby is at a very different stage, he’ll (Kambosos) go in as an underdog, but you’d have to give him a chance based on the glimpses we saw in round ten. It’s an exciting time.
“This will be the biggest fight of his career, by the length of the straights. It’s a massive opportunity.”
Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank