George Kambosos Jr. on Becoming Lightweight Champion

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George Kambosos

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George Kamobosos Jr. is a professional boxer who has held the WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring lightweight titles since November 2021.

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Transcript

What does it feel like? Yeah, look, it's been pretty crazy. You know, obviously on top of the world right now. Yeah. Does it feel like you're living in a fog, like a dream? A little bit, but I've had that vision, you know, for so long. You know, I've manifested for so long and, you know, before this fight, even as a young amateur, I knew I'd be world champion. I knew one day more time would come and, you know, it finally did. Well, I was told about you a couple of years ago, by my friend Vinnie Shoreman, who's big in the Muay Thai world, and Liam Harrison is a Muay Thai world champion. They were telling me how awesome you were years ago. But until Saturday night of last week, the world, you know, they didn't know. They had to see it. Yeah, look, both great guys. And I think it was 2018. I was in the wildcard gym sparring. And I'm in the ring and I see these two guys and they're watching. So, you know, I'll put on a show for these guys. And let's see, they might be someone that can take me to the next level. They might be promoters, who knows? So, I always want to put on a show. And they couldn't believe it. And then I knew that they'll come in on your show when I started speaking to them. And when they dropped my name on it, I was like, this is amazing. Now I'm here with you. Well, your performance against Tia Fimo was spectacular. It was amazing. And I mean, it was a fight where how much of an underdog were you coming into that fight? I was a huge underdog, you know, 7-1 underdog. Wow. You know, bettongline.aj had me 7-1. So, you know, that just shows the adversity that you have to come through. You can be a massive underdog, but no matter what, you know, you get through it and you can win whatever you choose to do. Well, you were undefeated coming into that fight, but you just hadn't faced the same level of opposition that he had. And it didn't mean that you weren't capable of it. It just, you just hadn't had the opportunity before. So it wasn't a 7-1 like they didn't think you had the skills. It was 7-1 that you just hadn't had that moment in the sun before. I think because that's right. I haven't had my moment yet leading into that fight. But you know, he was coming off the big Lomachenko fight, the big win there. What he'd done in that fight is so impressive. He knocked out Richard Comey as well. So the hype, the noise that he was making, this was just going to be a normal mantaury fight. It took so long to make and he was supposed to do the business and move on to something bigger. But that hunger that I had, that tunnel vision to show who I am, to show how great I am, and I had to go through it all in that fight, from the cuts to being put down around 10. But I knew that. This is my greatness now, how good I can be and show the world and shock the world. It is, you definitely did shock the world. It is a reoccurring theme in boxing and in all combat sports. And someone takes an opponent lightly and they go in thinking they're just going to steamroll this guy and then they get met with reality. I mean, it's happened so many times in fighters careers. And then there's also the other reoccurring theme, a guy like yourself who has his eyes on the prize, is completely focused and people are counting them out. Then they rise to the occasion and become a superstar. And that's what happened to you. You say it many times. And I feel that he didn't take me lightly because he's in great shape. He was in unbelievable condition. I felt as we led into the fight and we had that first press conference where we looked into each other's eyes and I saw that a guy who, he came too fast and he needed to be matched with someone that was not going to take a step backwards. And the whole thing was his whole preparation. I was never going to take one step backwards. I never gave him that inch. And even in the fight, I never gave him that inch. I was always there to be dominant. And I felt like it was a bully kind of character where he bullied Lomachenko, he bullied Kamee, he bullied all his past opponents. But I've come from bullying. I was an overweight kid at a young age. I've been bullied all my life. You were overweight? I was overweight. I used to be 135 pounds at like 10 years of age until I fell into boxing. So I knew straight away, okay, I know how to stand up to this guy. I know what I got to do in this fight. And he saw how serious I was. So, you know, we stayed focused. We kept the tunnel vision and we done the business. Well, you did a beautiful job of boxing him as well. I mean, you stayed in the pocket and cut angles. You landed beautiful combinations. That one right hand in the first round, though, really set the tone for that fight. When you sat him down at the end of the first and dropped him, and it was just, and it was a hard right hand. I mean, it was a beautiful right hand. And when you see his eyes roll back and he drops and he gets up and he's like, what the fuck just happened? That was a giant wake up call and it really set the tone for the rest of the fight. It did. I went into that first round. I knew he'd be very emotional. I knew he took it so personal and leading up to the whole fight week when I kept getting asked, is this personal for you? Because I knew it was so personal for him. So no, this is business for me. This is another fight. This is what I love to do. Doesn't matter who's in that side of the ring fighting against me. And I knew I had to get his respect straight away. He would come out crazy. I stayed composed. I landed some really good short shots on the inside in the first round. And like the great custom art I said to Muhammad Ali when he fought George Foreman, he goes, how am I going to beat this guy? How can I beat this puncher? And Cus goes, hit him with the right hand. In the first round, hit him with your best right hand and show him that, hey, I can punch as well. I had that in my head. You know, I have the great book by Custom Auto and I have it highlighted. And before I went to the arena, I went over it and showed it to just have it in my head. What an amazing mind he had. Custom Auto's mind for boxing and for the psychology of boxing was just so incredible. You know, and to fact that Mike Tyson found that man when he was 13 years old. It's almost like destiny, you know? And you know what? I believe that everything in life is destiny. You know, I look at my road to get to the championship. It's just falling into place. But with destiny, you need to work hard. You need to take it in your own hands as well. But everything's meant to be and that right hand was meant to be. And I said it to my team. I go, you're watching the first round. I'm going to catch him early. I'm going to hurt him with something because I knew I was looking for that right hand. And when he came out crazy and he was heavy on the front foot, he tried to fake the jab and I saw that front foot right there. I knew his head wouldn't move. I go, okay, here it is. That's the shot I've been dreaming about my whole life. I let it go like a lightning strike. Let's take a look at it. Jamie, show me that punch because that was just so beautiful. I screamed when I was at home and I watched it. I yelled out. I was by myself. I was sitting in the living room. The whole world just jumped on me. Okay. Now we've got to fight because I don't think many expected me to even stand a chance in the first round. You know, they were so vocal about one round, one round, especially his dad. Well, his dad made a huge bet. He bet $100,000 that he was going to knock you out within two rounds. Yeah. Well, I want to find out the person he bet against because here it is. Take a look at this and take it in. See that short left foot there. Nice, beautiful left foot. Well, you were in front of him, but you weren't there. That was what was beautiful about it. Like your head movement, like right there, that angle. Guys, just gorgeous box. Here it is. Right here, baby. Bank. Oh my goodness. And I saw it in his eyes as soon as I landed that shot and he got up. He saw what the fuck was that? You can see it right there. He's like, whoa. Yeah. Now we're in the fight. And then the fake smile. And he shot all in. He, bang. I was a little bit off balance, but that shot there was probably more devastating than the original shot. And then I'm just going off. I had to say it. I said, you know, now I'm here. One round. Is that what you said to him? I said one round. Okay. Oh my goodness. Now we're in a fight. It was an amazing performance.