Jubilant George Kambosos Jr is challenging Australia’s other title aspirants to follow their dreams overseas as he savours his place in boxing immortality as an undisputed world champion.
Kambosos is the first Australian boxer in history to win three world-title belts in one fight after scoring a stunning upset win over previously unbeaten American Teofimo Lopez in New York.
The new unified lightweight world champion was rewarded for his unwavering dedication after more than four years without a fight in Australia.
Sacrificing precious family time with endless months training offshore in the Philippines with the great Manny Pacquiao and fighting in the US, UK, Greece and Malaysia, Kambosos is now the holder of the WBA, WBO and IBF straps.
“That’s something these other guys in Australia who are making a bit of noise, they talk a big game and say they want to come over here but when it comes to booking that flight, they don’t,” Kambosos told AAP.
“So I don’t understand how everyone wants to get behind them but they don’t want to get overseas and chase it where it really happens, chase the big fish.
“It’s a big difference when you’re comfortable in your own zone and you need to leave your comfort zone and take the risk and achieve and get to the top and achieve what it is to become a world champion.
“They don’t want to do it but Kambosos has done it and has been doing it for many years. We’re here, we’re fighting for the biggest thing Australia has ever seen.
“It’s the pinnacle of the sport.”
Blood streaming from a nasty cast above his left eye, Lopez claimed he’d been robbed despite being sent crashing to the canvas by Kambosos in the opening round – the first time since he professional debut five years ago the American had been floored.
“You’re a hell of a fighter but I won the fight tonight. I want everyone to know that,” Lopez protested.
“The referee raised my hand, I won tonight. I don’t care what anybody said.”
Not for the first time over the past week, Kambosos branded the vanquished champion “delusional”.
“I won the fight fair and square. Take a look at your face. Take it like a champ, let’s do it again in Australia,” Kambosos said.
“Eighty-thousand fans in Australia, let’s do it again.”
After years of offshore toil, Kambosos won’t be defending his titles anywhere but Australia and dedicated his victory to wife Rebecca, three young children and his late grandfather George.
“This is for my kids, my grandfather George Kambosos, who passed away two months away,” he said.
“It’s for my family, my wife, my grandfather. I know he’s in the ring with me right now.”