Australia’s George Kambosos Jr. has every right to feel like the cock of the walk in the top-heavy and talented lightweight division. Who wouldn’t crow after beating universally regarded 135 lb. top dog Teofimo Lopez for three of the four recognized belts (some will say four of the four belts, but that’s a topic for another day).
And not only did Kambosos beat Lopez, but he did so, practically coming out of nowhere and after having to deal with seemingly endless delays and postponements caused by Lopez contracting COVID-19 and assorted issues related to the troubled promotion.
So, yeah, the guy has every reason to beat his chest a bit and flap his gums ahead of his high-profile unification clash against WBC titlist Devin Haney.
But the unbeaten Sydney native has been talking A LOT…all over the place…with an increasingly aggressive-cocky swagger.
In recent days, he’s taken swipes at Haney’s father and trainer Bill, who was barred entry to Australia due to a past felony conviction and at Haney, himself, for being, what he calls a “rat.” Kambosos alleges that, in the lead-up to his November bout with Lopez, Haney was sending him unsolicited insider info to help him beat the then-defending champ.
“This guy’s an informant,” Kambosos said at the recent press conference to hype the June 4 fight. “This guy’s a rat. I’ll tell you why.
“The Teofimo Lopez fight—a foreigner against his own countryman—he was messaging me throughout. He was giving me details, every bit. Teo’s at the hookah bar. Teo’s having problems with his wife. This is the kind person… this is a rat. This is a rat. This is a snitch, an informant.
“You know what? This is your countryman, your own countryman going behind your back,” Kambosos continued. “You know what? On Sunday, I’m gonna kick your a**. When you go back to Las Vegas, you’ll have to look out for Teofimo Lopez because he’ll be looking for you, too.”
Aside from casting aspersions on Haney’s character, Kambosos would also question whether Haney even deserves the WBC belt currently around his waist, blasting the unbeaten 23-year-old’s seemingly red-carpeted road to his first world title.
“It’s great to be back home,” Kambosos said. “Five years of hard work, everyone knows the story, I had to go through every bit of adversity. I had to earn my belts, earned them the hardest way. Not like this guy, got given a present. I earned my, I took the best out.”
There’s been a lot more in the area of big talk, of course. Kambosos has been making headlines ever since this fight was signed with quotes focused on diminishing Haney’s challenge as well as reaffirming his status as undisputed no. 1 lightweight in the world.
And, again, why not? He’s earned the right to sit on his throne however he likes.
The question, though, is whether he’ll be able to back up his big talk against an opponent in Haney, who is considered by many to be a blue-chip future superstar and, in the present tense, no worse than top 3 or top 4 in the world.
By all appearances, Devin Haney has taken all the trash talk in stride and claims to be fully focused on the task at hand this coming Saturday.
“This is the same George that I’ve always seen. He’s nothing but an actor,” Haney told media at the fight week press conference. “He’s putting on an act. He’s putting on a facade.”
“There’s nothing that he can do in the ring that’s better than me,” Haney said. “And I will show it on fight night. I take nothing away from him, I think that he’s a good fighter, but I just think I’m on a whole different level.”