'It’s bigger than Pacquiao-Horn': Kambosos set for top billing on Australian mega event fight card
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'It’s bigger than Pacquiao-Horn': Kambosos set for top billing on Australian mega event fight card

Jeff Horn did it against Manny Pacquiao, regardless of what you made of the scorecards. Now rising Sydney star George Kambosos jnr says he can engineer another high-profile upset if he gets top billing on what could be the best fight card Australia has ever hosted.

Talks are progressing for Kambosos to take on the newly minted undisputed lightweight champion of the world Teofimo Lopez in a stadium event in Australia in April or May next year. Lopez took all the belts from former pound-for-pound star Vasyl Lomachenko with a unanimous decision win in October.

Sydney boxer George Kambosos jnr works the bag at his Sylvania gym. He's earned a shot at the undisputed lightweight crown and it could happen in Australia.

Sydney boxer George Kambosos jnr works the bag at his Sylvania gym. He's earned a shot at the undisputed lightweight crown and it could happen in Australia.Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

Kambosos made all the right moves against Brit Lee Selby at the Wembley Arena to position himself as the mandatory challenger for the IBF version and now wants his breakout night to be held in front of a packed house in Australia, as opposed to empty seats in the MGM Bubble in Las Vegas.

Top Rank boss Bob Arum has already started talks with the various parties and has enjoyed success on Australian soil before with the Pacquio-Horn fight at Suncorp Stadium, when Horn pulled off a fairytale win in front a huge home crowd.

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Given Australia's successful measures to combat COVID and the potential of even more local interest on the card, Kambosos said it made perfect sense for the fight to be staged on his turf.

"It’s a mega event," he said. "Hopefully we can do 50,000 of 60,000 somewhere in Australia. I think it’s bigger than Pacquiao-Horn.

"It makes so much business sense. It makes sense to maximise the opportunities in Australia, given how well we’ve coped with this terrible virus. It’s just a fantastic event. Pac-Horn showed it can work.

"Coming out of a pandemic, what better way to give back when you have Kambosos chasing greatness to win not one, not two, not three, but four world titles.

"Everyone is on the same page, from us to Teofimo Lopez to his father to Bob Arum. Everybody is on the same page and striving to make this happen for hopefully April next year."

Andrew Moloney and Joshua Franco exchange punches during their controversial fight for the WBA super flyweight title on November 14.

Andrew Moloney and Joshua Franco exchange punches during their controversial fight for the WBA super flyweight title on November 14.Credit:Getty

There would be layers of interest for international fans, but even more for Australians if Arum can pull all the right strings. He wants the card to feature a rematch between Andrew Moloney and Joshua Franco after the Australian was robbed of the WBA super lightweight title in farcical scenes last week.

Franco retained his belt in a "no contest" ruling from a supposed head butt, which was attributed as the cause of swelling around his eye. But the video showed no such thing and Moloney and his team were rightly incensed.

Tim Tszyu has also been mentioned to fight on the card, which would give him the biggest global exposure of his short career, while just about every other local fighter of any note would be clamouring for a spot on the card.

Kambosos is Sydney born and bred and would love the fight to take place at one of the city's stadiums, although he'd be equally at home in Melbourne, given the city's huge Greek-Australian population.

"Anywhere you put it, it’s going to be unbelievable," he said. "I’m born and bred in Sydney, I’d love to have it there – ANZ or Bankwest would be great. Melbourne could be a possibility if they continue to do well with the virus – Marvel Stadium would be huge.

"I’m a proud Australian, but the Greeks in Melbourne would be massive ... there are over 700,000 expats. We’ll take it wherever makes most sense.

"I’m ready. I truly believe I can beat this guy and I will beat this guy. I’ve shown my class and I’m just getting better and better. He’ll be shocked with my speed and my movement. Lomachenko barely threw a punch in seven rounds. We all saw it. With 50,000 Aussies behind me, I’ll be on him straight away."

Australia's biggest fight card

Teofimo Lopez (16-0) v George Kambosos Jnr (19-0)
Lopez is the new WBA, IBF and WBO titleholder after having bulldozed the former divisional kingpin Vasyl Lomachenko, who most experts rated among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world. 'The Takeover' is only 23 and has suddenly become one of the biggest names in the sport. That presents Kambosos Jnr with a golden opportunity should this fight transpire, with the tough, motivated Sydney product now a chance to challenge for a suite of belts in front of his home fans. He'd be an underdog but he's motivated and ready.

Joshua Franco (17-1-2) v Andrew Moloney (21-1)
Moloney is an extremely likeable Australian fighter that deserves this rematch in front of a home crowd, not an empty studio in Las Vegas, where a daylight robbery transpired last week. Moloney was savaging Franco in their second meeting after Franco won the first fight for the WBA super lightweight title earlier in the year. But a swollen eye was attributed to a head butt... although it looked for all money like one of the numerous Moloney jabs that did the damage. The no contest ruling was a joke and the rematch MUST happen here.

Tim Tszyu (16-0) v TBC
Tszyu's promoters might make more money if he takes top billing on his own card but if the rising star from Sydney wants real global exposure, this is exactly where he needs to be fighting. Given the potential size of the event, there will be no shortage of willing challengers for the gifted son of Kostya. If he fires with the boxing world watching, the next step could be very close to his dream world title shot.

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