These comments were just as honest as they were salty.
They sat across from each other in the middle of an empty pitch at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. This is the same surface on which the two will be competing Saturday (ESPN, 9:59 p.m.). ET) For the undisputed lightweight title, George Kambosos Jr. tried to relive his inspiring backstory but was stopped by Devin Haney.
"Oh my God!" Haney stated that they should just get on with it during Wednesday's Fox Sports Australia Face Off interview. "Here you go ... stop. Stop it! Let's cut to the chase, bro. Nobody believes you. You are an actor."
Although Haney's reaction was dismissive (27-0, 15KOs), the WBC champion from Las Vegas, aged 23, might have been speaking on behalf of most American boxing fans in the 18 months since Kambosos (200-0, 10KOs) was mentioned.
The 28-year-old Kambosos was previously a footnote to the 135 pound title picture in one boxing's deepest divisions. However, it is ripe for blue-chip young talent that appears poised to take control of the sport.
Kambosos, an Australian citizen by birth and Greek descent, had spent the previous five years traveling around the world in complete obscurity. He won fights with low profile fighters from as far as London and Las Vegas to earn mandatory opponent status against rising star Teofimo Lopez Jr.
Kambosos didn't have much chance to upset the apple cart despite consecutive split-decision wins against faded former champions Mickey Bey, Lee Selby and Lee Selby. The extended soap opera about Lopez, which featured a record-breaking purse bid and chronic postponements, as well as a late network switch, only served to drain fans' interest in the fight. This was especially true for those who were unhappy with Lopez's career advancement being delayed after his upset of Vasiliy Lomachenko, former pound-for pound king.
Kambosos was not told, however, that Lopez's fight was an inevitable outcome. Kambosos headlined New York's Madison Square Garden last December. He dropped Lopez in round one and then battered him through a thrilling split decision to take control of the WBA, IBF, and WBO titles.
Fast forward to this weekend. After talks with Lomachenko collapsed due to the ongoing military conflict between Ukraine and Ukraine, Kambosos is now ready to fight in Ukraine for the first time since 2017. This time it will be as a conquering hero, in front of an expected crowd 50,000.
Lou Dibella, longtime promoter of Kambosos, stated that this fight will be one of Australia's biggest. "This is not only because George is a native boy but also because he chose the hard road -- travelling the world to pursue his dream of becoming a world champion." "George's decision to defend against an undefeated world champion is a sign of his self-confidence and shows that he is a true warrior and winner, which is something that Australia and Greece have in common."
Although Lopez's aggressiveness was admirable, it wasn't enough for everyone to believe that his title reign would only be a temporary one. Especially considering the fact that the likes Lomachenko and Gervonta, Davis, as well as Ryan Garcia, still reside in the division. Kambosos isn't able to share this fear, so he tried his best to get Haney, a rare and free promotional agent, into a lucrative contract that included a rematch clause.
Kambosos told Haney that he could have fought any person, and that he could have fought the garbageman out front if he wanted to. But despite this, a majority of people would choose to fight Kambosos. "You are not my mandatory. You were my choice. Everything is possible because you're here. It's amazing. This is the essence of sport, and I made it happen. I chose to fight the largest fights."
Kambosos won't be entering as an astronomical betting underdog like he was against Lopez. However, oddsmakers still favor Haney as a slight favourite. The public's sentiment is slowly changing, not only because Kambosos will fight in his backyard, in front of hostile crowds, but also because Bill Haney, his father and trainer was ruled ineligible for the trip because of a 1992 felony drug conviction.
Kambosos still has the attitude of a challenger despite the fact that he is the power broker at 135lbs due to his three-belt title.
These are the reasons. Kambosos loves to fight. The boxer, who refers to himself as "Ferocious", is covered almost head-to-toe in tattoos and tends to fight in a style similar to his nickname. Kambosos is a tough-working opportunist, who was born without any resources and has struggled to make ends meet throughout his meteoric rise.
"This is all I have achieved. Kambosos stated, "I have visualized it and I have spoken it." "I promised that I would take the belts from Lopez and bring them back to this arena for a massive stadium fight, and it happened. This is what I did. Although the crowd will be there, I still love fighting. Lee Selby beat me in hostile territory. I fought there. The end of the day it was me and [Haney] in the ring, and the fans will get a great show.
Kambosos is open to any doubters, and he will flash that chip on his shoulder that is responsible today.
Kambosos said this week that "that chip on my shoulder makes it as hungry as ever," he told ESPN. No problem for those who have made negative comments about us. They'll be watching. Go find them at the fight night. They won't be there, they don't have anything to do with us or this show. We've done everything right.
"That chip on my shoulder, I don’t believe it’s ever going away. Maybe it will go one day, and then I can let it go and get on to something better.