Australian undisputed lightweight boxing champion George Kambosos Jr will defend his three world title belts at Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium on June 5.
- Kambosos won the WBA, IBF and WBO lightweight world titles in November
- Ukrainian Vasiliy Lomachenko or American Devin Haney are the frontrunners for his first title defence
- Sydneysider Kambosos said he would like to fight in his hometown but there was not an appropriate venue
However, the Sydneysider — who stunned the boxing world with his shock defeat of Teófimo López in November — says the stadium super-fight will not necessarily be against Ukrainian Vasiliy Lomachenko.
While admitting Lomachenko had edged into favouritism, Kambosos said American Devin Haney remained in the hunt.
“They are both still in the running,” Kambosos said. “I think Lomachenko has started to creep close to the finish line and that excites me big time because Lomachenko is a hell of a fighter, a guy who’s won two Olympic gold medals, multiple world titles.
“But Devin Haney excites me a lot, too, because he does have that small, other little piece that he loves [the WBC belt].
“He never really earned it in the ring but he does love his piece and I’d love to splatter his face across the ring and take that off him as well.
Lomachenko was widely considered the premier pound-for-pound boxer on the planet before López in October, 2020, stripped him of the WBA, IBF and WBO belts, which Kambosos now holds.
Haney has the WBC belt.
“There’s only ever been two names that I’ve ever been interested in. I’ve only ever been interested in Devin Haney and Vasiliy Lomachenko,” Kambosos said.
“People are going to say, ‘Wow, Kambosos is crazy. He’s taking a massive risk to fight one of these guys in his first defence’.
“But you’ve got to be a little bit crazy in this game. They said I was crazy when I said I was going to be better than López in every single aspect and I proved them wrong.
“I’ll prove them wrong again. I don’t plan on handing these belts over, ever. These belts are mine.
“I know what I had to go through to earn them the hard way and I did what no Australian has ever done before and, again, I’m ready to create more history.
Kambosos took in the Australian Open tennis, watching Greek ace Stefanos Tsitsipas at Rod Laver Arena, before deciding on Docklands Stadium, which has an official capacity of 52,000 but could conceivably seat more for a boxing match with seats on the ground.
“It’s going to be a hell of an environment,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate that there’s no stadium ready in Sydney. I love the new SFS [Sydney Football Stadium] and that’s a future place that I will fight.
“And Melbourne is an amazing city, great stadiums and just has that atmosphere and that’s what we’re excited about after seeing how the tennis was and how the fans interacted.
“This is going to be huge. A mega fight is only fitting for it. The Emperor comes back home to fight in front of all his people in the biggest fight ever in Australian boxing.”