Australian George Kambosos is gearing up for the biggest fight of his career and he has addressed “rumours” about a boxing legend.
George Kambosos is hoping boxing legend Manny Pacquiao will make a special ringside appearance at his hotly-anticipated fight next week.
The Australian is gearing up for his lightweight fight against Devin Haney in Melbourne on Sunday June 5.
It’s Kambosos’ first world title defence and he will be striving 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 sparred with the 12-time world champion in 2017 when Pacquiao’s coach thought Kambosos would be the perfect training partner for Pacquiao ahead of his world title fight against fellow Australian Jeff Horn.
Kambosos believes his time spent with the Filipino legend, which Kambosos estimates to be around 250 rounds together in the ring, will hold him in good stead against Haney.
“It gave me more openings, more doors,” Kambosos told the Hello Sport podcast.
“Manny is a legend, I was a part of that team. I’m sparring with him as his main sparring partner, but ultimately I had to put in the work.
“If I wasn’t showing how good I was in the sparring sessions then he would have sent me home. First camp, he would have sent me home. I had to made it work.
“When you’re in there with a legend, an all-time great, a guy who has sone so much more than anyone when it comes to titles and divisions than any other fighter in the world in boxing history, and you’re mixing it with him day in day out, you know that you are elite.
Kambosos recalled Pacquiao telling him during their training camps he was ready for a world title fight.
But the 28-year-old had to bide his time until he was crowned world champion after a stunning win over Teofimo Lopez in November last year.
“He (Pacquiao) was saying, ‘You’re ready for a championship right now, you’re read to be world champion right now’,” Kambosos said.
“But me being so patient, I knew it wasn’t my time. I wasn’t ready 100 per cent. I said no. I said my time will come, it’s not yet.”
Kambosos said he and Pacquiao fought hard in 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 mates … but when we step inside the ring to do sparring or doing anything tactical, you’re going to go hell for leather.
“And that’s what it was with me and Manny Pacquiao. Yes we’re running together, we’re eating together, we’re talking and having a laugh together.
“But when we’re in the ring I’m there serving a job and he’s trying to prepare to the best of his ability. So if I can knock him out or he can knock me out, so be it. That’s the fight game.
“No, I never dropped him. I landed some very good shots but he never dropped me, I never dropped him. There was a lot of rounds — 250 rounds. The respect I have for that man is second to none.”
Kambosos is hopeful Pacquiao will travel to Melbourne to watch his fight with Haney in person ringside.
“He’s so happy with what I’ve achieved,” he said.
“He put out a great message after my victory over Lopez.
“He was waiting to see if he would become president of the Philippines.
“Unfortunately that’s not the case. So hopefully that opens up the door now for him to come back to Australia and be there ringside to watch me do the business against Devin Haney. “That is the word around town.”
“I am hearing rumours that Manny will be flying down ringside to watch me handle business and collect that last piece of the puzzle with all my belts,” Kambosos told Sunday Night with Matty Johns.
“To have him in my corner, to have him supporting me — an all-time great like Manny Pacquiao feeling. I’m very humbled to have him apart of my journey.”