George Kambosos Jr. hasn’t produced a convincing victory in any of his last three fights.
Kambosos barely beat British southpaw Maxi Hughes in his most recent outing, which resulted in a 12-round, majority-decision victory last July 22 at Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma. That narrow win came in his first fight after suffering a second consecutive decisive defeat to Devin Haney in a 12-round, 135-pound championship clash in October 2022 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.
Those three outcomes make Kambosos’ fight versus Vasiliy Lomachenko one the Sydney native absolutely must win May 12 at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia. Ukraine’s Lomachenko, who will turn 36 on February 17, also lost his last bout, but the three-division champion’s unanimous points defeat to Haney was much more competitive last May 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Kambosos (21-2, 10 KOs) contended during a press conference Wednesday in Perth that the careers of he and Lomachenko are at stake in their 12-round fight for the vacant IBF lightweight title.
“This fight rejuvenates my career,” Kambosos said. “This gives me my redemption. Yes, I’ve been in the big fights, I’ve fought the best, I’ve won the big fights, I’ve lost the big fights. But for me, this is legacy. This is not about anything else. This is not about money, this is not about winning another world title. And this is the same for Vasiliy Lomachenko. He has made money, I have made money. He has won belts, I have won belts.
“This fight is [about] legacy – two orthodox warriors coming together for a big, big fight. And I think our careers are both on the line here. Hall of Fame is on the line here. Legacy is on the line here. And I believe this is my destiny. The way this has happened, this is a different Kambosos that we’ll see on May 12th.”
Assuming this fight proceeds as scheduled, the 30-year-old Kambosos will have fought then-undefeated Teofimo Lopez (19-1, 13 KOs), Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) and Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs) in four of his past five fights. Before he lost back-to-back bouts to Haney, Kambosos, then the IBF’s mandatory challenger, upset Lopez by split decision in November 2021 inside The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
“Look, I never step away from a challenge,” Kambosos said. “I always wanna fight the best, and the man, Vasiliy Lomachenko, is a guy that we have looked at for a very long time, a guy that, you know, I’ve been watching from [when I was] a young kid. This guy’s a legend. The respect we have for him is huge and we have been meaning to fight for many times.
“So, to have this official now, it is extraordinary. I’m very motivated for this fight. I’m very excited, and we can’t wait. But most of all, we’re very excited to be bringing this big event, this mega-fight, another mega-fight that Kambosos brings to Australia, to Western Australia.”
ESPN will televise the 12-round, 135-pound championship bout between Lomachenko and Kambosos live the night of May 11 in the United States. The card headlined by Lomachenko-Kambosos will take place on a Sunday morning and Sunday afternoon in Perth, by far the largest, most populous city in Western Australia.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.