Promoter Lou DiBella has made his way to Perth where he will watch his lightweight hope George Kambosos tackle boxing’s matrix, Vasiliy Lomachenko, on Saturday (May 11).

Kambosos is the underdog against the exceptional former pound-for-pound wizard from Ukraine, but DiBella insists his fighter is more than ready. 

“I think George is in sensational shape, like the best shape I’ve seen him in years,” DiBella said. “Loma is an all-time great, but mark my words and hold me to this, I think people are going to be surprised by what a good fight it’s going to be.

“I expect a great performance from George. Loma’s a big hill to climb, but George is willing to fight the best and he gives 110 per cent. I think he’s more prepared for this fight than in a long time.”

While it is a sold-out show in front of Kambosos’ fans, DiBella believes the boxing public are not giving the Australian warrior a chance. Although big-time boxing is thriving Down Under overall, with many fighters operating at world level, there have been recent high-profile losses for Liam Wilson, Michael Zerafa, Tim Tszyu, and Jason Moloney.

DiBella believes Kambosos is being written off by many. The Australian upset Teofimo Lopez in 2021, but suffered clear consecutive defeats to Devin Haney. He then toiled against Maxi Hughes, and was fortunate to get a decision against the crafty Englishman.

“Yes, I do,” DiBella said, asked if Kambosos is being overlooked. “And by the way, I think that [Devin] Haney was the worst possible style for Kambosos. Kambosos is not Joe Slick. He’s going to have problems with a very, very fast technical sort of moving guy like Haney, who is a hard guy to fight, honestly. And now, with the weight blown up and the disrespect he [Ryan Garcia]’s shown for Haney in terms of missing the weight and showing up so heavy and now on top of it the tests, Haney’s loss is not looking as bad.”

While a promoter cannot look too far beyond the next fight, and there is no chance anyone in the Australian’s team is taking Lomachenko for granted, DiBella discussed some possible options for what might come next.

“It all hinges on what happens but I think with a good performance, and I’m not saying a win, I’m saying a really good performance, he’ll always have the Teofimo Lopez fight,” DiBella explained. “So I think that is inevitably in his future. George is manifesting victory here. He’s convinced that he is going to put on a great performance. He’s a real fighter. George has no hesitation to fight anybody and he’s been a road warrior for how long? Now he’s had a couple of big fights in Australia but he fought [Lee] Selby in England, came to America, he has a mentality of a champion, ‘I’ll fight anybody’. And that’s been shown by his resume. Yes, he lost twice to Haney, but if you look at who George has stepped in the ring with, he’s a real champion.”

DiBella also promotes the aforementioned Hughes, who recently suffered a one-sided loss to the exceptional William Zepeda. Hughes had a nightmare camp in that when he arrived two weeks ahead of schedule in Las Vegas he was instantly sent back to the U.K. due to what immigration deemed incorrect documentation. Hughes spent the best part of the next week in a London hotel, ticking over, waiting for a U.S. Embassy appointment, which eventually was in Ireland, and he finally landed in Vegas at the start of fight week.

“Get him a win in an eight-rounder and maybe someone like [Gary] Cully,” said DiBella, when asked what’s next for Hughes. “There are a lot of guys in the U.K. right now that Maxi would still beat, in my view. Maxi’s not done. 

“By the way, he’s one of the nicest people. At this stage of my career, I want to work with people I like and respect and Maxi is just a gentleman, and he’s a real fighter and he’s a lovely person and a family guy and fighting for his family, a regular, solid kid and you want to see the best things happen for Maxi Hughes We will get Maxi back to probably a big U.K. fight, and he will show people what he’s got left.”

The same way that Kambosos has the Lopez bout to return to, is it the same with Hughes and Kambosos, given the controversy generated by the scorecards from their fight? 

“The reality of the Kambosos fight is it was not the most-exciting,” added DiBella. “So it’s not like there’s a clamour for it, but if Maxi goes on a bit of a run, who knows?

“He wasn’t going to complain,” DiBella continued, talking about Hughes being sent back to the U.K. ahead of the Zepeda fight. “We were bringing him in two weeks before the fight and he should have had no problem getting into the country, and a mistake was made at the border when he tried to get into America and he got sent back on the next plane, and had an ordeal of being in a hotel room [in London]. We had to work around the clock with lawyers to fix things. Because there was a mistake, we still had to fix it. We had to get him a new type of visa, and he didn’t get into Vegas until the Monday night, when he was supposed to be there two weeks before. He didn’t catch a break in that fight.

“Now that being said, the kid Zepeda, that kid is an animal.”