Australian George Kambosos is gearing up for the biggest fight of his career and he has spoken of “rumours” about a boxing legend.
George Kambosos hopes boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will make a special ringside at his highly anticipated fight next week.
The Australian is gearing up for his lightweight fight against Devin Haney in Melbourne on Sunday, June 5.
It is Kambosos’ first defense of the world title and he will strive to take Haney’s WBC belt and become the unified lightweight world champion.
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Kambosos was Pacquiao’s main sparring partner for three of his world title fight campaigns and fought on the undercard for several Pacquiao fights.
He first struggled with Pacquiao, a 12-time world champion, in 2017 when Pacquiao’s coach thought Kambosos would be the perfect training partner for Pacquiao in the run-up to his world title battle against compatriot Jeff Horn.
Kambosos believes his time spent with the Philippine legend, which Kambosos says is about 250 laps, will serve him well against Haney.
“It gave me more openings, more doors,” Kambosos told the Hello Sport podcast.
“Manny is a legend, I was part of that team. I spar with him as his main sparring partner, but in the end I had to do the work.
“If I hadn’t shown how good I was in the sparring sessions, he would have sent me home. At the first camp he would have sent me home. I had to make it work.
“When you’re there with a legend, an all-time great, a man who has so much more than anyone else when it comes to titles and divisions than any other fighter in the world in boxing history, and you mix it with him day in and day out. day out, you know you are elite.
Kambosos recalled Pacquiao telling him during their training camps that he was ready to fight for the world title.
But the 28-year-old had to bide his time until he was crowned world champion after a stunning win over Teofimo Lopez last November.
“He (Pacquiao) said, ‘You are now ready for a championship, you now read that you are world champion,’ said Kambosos.
“But because I was so patient, I knew it wasn’t my time. I wasn’t 100 percent ready. I said no. I said my time will come, it’s not yet.”
Kambosos said he and Pacquiao fought hard during their sparring sessions, but he was never dropped by the man considered one of the greatest fighters of all time.
“That’s boxing,” he said. “You can be best buddies… but when we step into the ring to spar or do something tactical, you go leather.
“And that was it with me and Manny Pacquiao. Yes, we run together, we eat together, we talk and laugh together.
“But when we’re in the ring, I’m there for a job and he’s trying to prepare as best he can. So if I can take him out or he can take me out, then so be it. That’s the fighting game.
“No, I never dropped it. I got some very good shots but he never dropped me, I never dropped him. There were many laps – 250 laps. The respect I have for that man is unparalleled.”
Kambosos hopes Pacquiao will travel to Melbourne to watch his fight with Haney at ringside.
“He’s so happy with what I’ve accomplished,” he said.
“He brought out a great message after my win over Lopez.
“He was waiting to become president of the Philippines.
“Unfortunately, that is not the case. So hopefully that now opens the door for him to come back to Australia and be ringside there to see how I do things against Devin Haney. “That’s the word in town.”
“I hear rumors that Manny will fly to ringside to see how I handle business and collect that last piece of the puzzle with all my belts,” Kambosos said. Sunday night with Matty Johns†
“To have him in my corner, to have him support me – a great feeling like Manny Pacquiao. I’m very humbled to have him apart from my journey.”