TV host Grant Denyer said he feared for his life when he stepped into the ring with an Aussie boxing star who completely destroyed him.
TV presenter Grant Denyer thought it was all over for him when he decided to step in the ring with Australian boxing star George Kambosos Jr. this week.
Kambosos is preparing for his lightweight fight against Devin Haney in Melbourne on June 5.
It’s the Australian’s 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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Denyer was filming a profile piece for Channel 7 when he decided it was a good idea to get in the ring with Kambosos for a sparring session.
But the Gold Logie winner quickly had the stuffing knocked out of him as Kambosos got to work, pummelling Denyer with several blows.
The pair had agreed on a safe word but Denyer couldn’t even say it as he finished the session with a cracked rib before Kambosos’ dad intervened to stop him getting further injured.
“I thought I was done,” Denyer told the Daily Telegraph.
“He was going gentle and letting me throw some punches. Then I said to him I wanted to experience what it was like to be hit.
“His eyes lit up. I put on this protective belt so he could have his way. I told him to start punching at the power of two and turn it up. When I can’t stand any more I’ll say the safe word, which was mummy.
“I realise I can’t talk. He was knocking the wind out of me. I couldn’t call for help, I couldn’t say my safe word. I had no air in my lungs.
“If he slipped one of his famous haymakers through it would’ve been lights out for good.
“I would be dead in a second. That’s the reality for real. George is in the ultimate form of his life. He is about to have the fight of the century in Australia. He is a killing machine.”
Denyer said he had a renewed respect for the serious power that boxers pack with their punches after getting hammered by Kambosos.
“He’s just got so much heart,” the 44-year-old told The Punch Podcast.
“His work ethnic is extraordinary. He’s exceptionally focused. He’s so focused on this next Devin Haney fight.
“It was a pleasure to watch him work. I got in the ring with him, which was stupid.
“Thankfully his dad was there and he could see the struggle I was going through and he pulled him off me, not before he did a little bit of cartilage damage in my ribcage.
“It’s cool to be in that mode. It’s like being stalked by a lion, where you’ve got no chance.
“It was an honour to be thrashed within an inch of my life.”