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George Kambosos Jr. ready to ‘shock the world’ in fight with Teofimo Lopez

If George Kambosos Jr. has learned anything in 2021, it’s that you require a good lawyer to navigate the often murky and unpredictable environment that is the boxing world.

But, after a few false starts, the Australian is now just days away from what is the biggest fight of his career: a showdown with unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez (16-0, 12 KOs).

The storyline for this fight reads a bit like a badly written Hollywood drama, but unfortunately for Kambosos (19-0, 10 KOs) it has very much been a reality.

Lopez’s positive COVID-19 test just days out from their June 19 fight date, disagreements over the date and venue change, a complete disintegration of the deal with original promoters Triller, a subsequent lawsuit, and both personal joy and grief have very much made 2021 a "roller coaster" for the 28-year-old challenger.

But where others might have stepped away from the daily grind, Kambosos says his focus has never wavered, and that he is ready to stun the world and create Australian boxing history.

"Mentally everyone knows that Kambosos is very strong," he told ESPN. "I’ve stayed very patient and I’ve been into work every day, day in day out, and I knew that every day I was going to get better and better. And when the fight would come, I would be 110% ready.

"I took it as a war of attrition, day by day you were having your battles with yourself to get better and better — that’s the way I looked at it. War is not won in a day, it takes time, and I’ve got that unbreakable mindset. If I go back eight weeks ago, I had the birth of my third child, my son, and on the same day my grandfather, George Kambosos, passed away. But I still trained that day, that’s the kind of fighter I am.

When Kambosos found out that Lopez tested positive, he was already in his hotel in Miami waiting for the fight, but he said he still went and trained after the news.

"I haven’t taken my foot off the pedal since forever. That’s the way I’ve always been," Kambosos said. "People say it’s been a long preparation, they ask ‘Are you burnt out or do you get tired?’, and I say ‘This is too big to get tired.’ This has been something that I have chased since I was 11 when I first stepped into a boxing gym."

While Lopez’s positive coronavirus test set in motion a chain of events that brought the lawyers in, it did also afford Kambosos the chance to return home to Australia as discussions over a date change unfolded.

He was forced to undertake the two-week hotel quarantine that was in place for any returning Australian at that point — something the country’s UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski is now well accustomed to — but on the other side of that stint, Kambosos was reunited with his family.

And that, he says, only further fueled his desire to stay the course in his […]

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