George Kambosos Jr has declared he may well retire if he loses his rematch to Devin Haney later this year.
Haney (28-0) outclassed Kambosos (20-1) in their lightweight title fight in June, defeating the Australian by unanimous decision to become the unified world champion.
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Now Kambosos has triggered the rematch clause in his contract to set up a second fight against Haney on October 16 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
More than 40,000 fans turned out to watch their first fight at Marvel Stadium, and the smaller Rod Laver Arena is sure to be at capacity for their second bout.
Kambosos, who had the right to a rematch in Australia, said there will be no bold predictions this time around and he hopes to let his boxing do the talking “inside the ring”.
“I am looking forward to October 16th at Rod Laver Arena and that’s where I will do my talking,” he said.
A second loss to Haney would be a major blow to Kambosos’ career and the 29-year-old has given himself an ultimatum of sorts — win and regain the lightweight belts, or lose and retire.
“You will not see me, if I don’t overcome this fight, back in Australia fighting domestic guys — that’s not me,” he said.
“Everything I have, I’ll be putting into that ring and my training and, God willing, I’ll be victorious on October 16th.”
Kambosos hinted the safety net of the rematch clause played on his mind in his first world title defence, but he declared he will go into this next fight with a “do or die” attitude.
“It’s been like that for my whole career,” he said.
“For the (Teofimo) Lopez fight, for the (Lee) Selby fight and against (Mickey) Bey back in the day. It’s always been like that.
“The only time it changed was the first fight with Haney, where in the back of your mind you do have that rematch clause. It wasn’t do or die. That’s not when I’m at my best.
“Do or die for me, it is (now). It could be the last time you see Kambosos, or I’ve got all the belts back.”
Haney, who is viewed as one of the rising stars of world boxing, is feeling “hungry” and confident he can produce another dominant win in Haney vs Kambosos 2.0.
“I’m expecting a hungry and determined Kambosos on October 16th in Melbourne,” the 23-year-old said.
“I will be prepared for any adjustment he brings. This is a great opportunity to gain more Aussie fans and add to my legacy.”
“At the end of the day I knew that I was going to win, so it’s not a surprise for me.
“It just made me hungrier because it’s hard to get the belts but it’s even harder to keep them. “I know that a lot of people want my head, even more now. So it made me even more hungry.”
Kambosos, who was criticised for his conservative tactics in the first fight against Haney, said he hoped “this referee does justice for the fight”, in a not-so-subtle dig at the officials.
“I just hope for the fans that we give a good fight, we give an action fight, not a fight where there’s a lot of holding and less action,” he said.
“My momentum was never able to let go. I’m not going to take it away from Devin, fantastic win, he’s a man of his word, him and his father will come back and give me a shot like I gave them a shot.
“The fans pay a lot of money for a good action fight so I just hope that this referee does justice for the fight and lets the fight go the way it’s meant to be.”