George Kambosos Jr. feels Teofimo Lopez isn’t fully focused on their mandatory fight.
Kambosos claims Lopez is thinking more about future fights against higher-profile opponents than their 12-round, 135-pound championship match. Lopez is a heavy favorite versus Kambosos, the mandatory challenger for Lopez’s IBF lightweight title, but Kambosos also is confident that he has gained a psychological advantage over Lopez.
The 28-year-old Australian challenger alluded to what he saw from Lopez at their press conference two months ago in Atlanta during an interview with co-hosts Randy Gordon and Gerry Cooney for an episode of “At The Fights,” which streams weekdays on SiriusXM.
“I’m sure you already saw that press conference,” Kambosos said. “I’m telling you now, I’m already in his head. I’ve been living in his head rent free, so if anyone’s gonna intimidate, I’ve already intimidated [him]. I’ve already been in his head. So, whatever he wants to do, he will not break me. I’m a Spartan warrior. I am unbreakable. You know, whatever he wants to try, if he wants to stand there for five hours straight and stare in my eyes, I will not break. And he knows that already.”
On August 14, the 23-year-old Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs), a Brooklyn native, and Sydney’s Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) will headline a Triller Fight Club Pay-Per-View show from a location to be determined. The pay-per-view portion of the show will start at 9 p.m. EDT and costs $49.99.
The fight was originally scheduled to take place this Saturday night in Miami, but it was postponed a few days ago after Lopez became ill and was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Kambosos beat Wales’ Lee Selby (28-3, 9 KOs) by split decision in their 12-round IBF eliminator October 31 at Wembley Arena in London to earn a shot at Lopez’s championships. Two weeks earlier, Lopez upset Ukraine’s Vasiliy Lomachenko (14-2, 10 KOs) by unanimous decision in their 12-rounder to defend his IBF belt and win the WBA, WBC “franchise” and WBO championships from the three-division champion at MGM Grand Conference Center in Las Vegas.
Lopez obviously is a more formidable foe than Selby, but Kambosos can’t wait to pull off an upset of his own. Most Internet sports books list Lopez as at least a 12-1 favorite against Kambosos.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Kambosos said. “I’ve been chasing this for a long time, and I’m very excited to shock the world and show [what] I’m about.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.