Last week, it was reported former unified lightweight champions George Kambosos Jr and Vasiliy Lomachenko had agreed terms to fight in Perth, Australia on May 12.
The high-stakes fight will be massive for boxing’s lightweight division as it will be contested for the IBO and vacant IBF Lightweight titles, the latter being vacated by Devin Haney, who most recently moved up to the light welterweight division.
Today, both men took part in a virtual press conference to announce their fight, with Lomachenko participating via satellite.
The presser hosted by Fox Sports’ Kath Loughnan started with words from both promoters, Lou DiBella and Top Rank’s Bob Arum, who praised both participants.
“These are two really accomplished fighters,” Arum said.
“Vasiliy Lomachenko was the greatest amateur fighter in the history of boxing. He had 397 amateur fights and lost only one.
“As a professional, he’s won titles in all divisions coming from 126 to 135. He is considered one of the greatest masters of the sport of boxing.
“George Kambosos is a fighter who always is in the fight giving his all and putting on splendid performances. The people in Perth, Australia, and the people around the world are in for a really big treat when these two great fighters meet in the ring.”
Kambosos’ promoter DiBella continued.
“Lomachenko is an all-time great, he’s already earned entrance into the Hall of Fame,” he said.
“Kambosos is a former world champion who’s knocked off one of the best fighters in the world in Teofimo Lopez.
“He’s only lost twice to the same man, who’s one of the best fighters in the world in Devin Haney and now he’s bringing a legend to Perth. It’s a great fight. It’s a great event.”
Halfway through the presser, the Aussie along with his father Jim Kambosos walked onto the stage, when asked about the challenge that Lomachenko brings, Kambosos revealed that he had been looking for the Ukranian for “a very long time.”
“I never step away from a challenge. I always want to fight the best,” Kambosos stated.
“Vasiliy Lomachenko is a guy we have looked at for a very long time, the respect we have for him is huge.
“To have this official now is extraordinary. I’m very motivated for this fight. I’m very excited, and we can’t wait.”
“Most of all we are excited to be bringing this mega fight to Western Australia, I have to thank the West Australian government for getting behind this, I’m excited to get in the ring against a legend on May 12.”
The Aussie is no stranger to fighting on boxing’s biggest stage, in 2021 he shocked the world by defeating Teofimo Lopez for the WBO, IBF and WBA lightweight titles before coming up short in two bids to become the undisputed lightweight king against Devin Haney back in 2022.
Most recently, Kambosos scored a victory over Maxi Hughes to become the IBO lightweight champion and he sees his fight with Lomachenko as way to get things back on track on the big stage.
“This fight rejuvenates my career, this gives me my redemption,” Kambosos told media.
“I’ve fought the best, I’ve won and lost the big fights. But for me, this fight is about legacy.
“Two warriors coming together for a big fight. Our careers are on the line here, legacy is on the line here and I believe this is my destiny.
“This is a different Kambosos that you will see on May 12.”
Recently the Aussie linked up with highly regarded Russian head coach Anton Kadushin, when explaining this adjustment Kambosos told the media that this move was done to familiarise himself with the European style that Lomachenko brings.
“I’ve linked up with a great trainer [Kadushin] who has been involved in a lot of big tournaments over [in Russia],” Kambosos said.
“He knows the European style, it’s what I needed.”
Lomachenko later joined the presser by Satellite and stated his excitement about yet another chance at a world title.
In his last outing, Lomachenko lost a highly controversial unanimous decision to Devin Haney in his first bid to become undisputed champion, but the Ukrainian was set on his goal of world title glory.
“This is the right fight because it’s a chance to be a world champion again,” Lomachenko said.
“Right now, my goal is to become a world champion again. After that, I can start thinking about becoming undisputed.
“I respect George Kambosos because he never gives up during a fight. It will be a very interesting fight because we have two different styles, and styles make fights.”
The fight between the two lightweight contenders promises to be one of the fights of the year. Two additional title fights are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets also go on sale on February 2.
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