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List of Articles by Joaquin Henson



Manny’s sparmate tougher than Horn

By Joaquin Henson
PhilBoxing.com
24 Jun 2017



Not meaning to belittle Jeff Horn but Australian strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune said in his honest assessment, WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao’s sparmate George Kambosos would be a tougher opponent than the fighting Senator’s challenger in the “Battle of Brisbane” on July 2.

That’s also how Freddie Roach’s chief assistant Marvin Somodio sized up both Kambosos and Horn. Kambosos, 24, has trained at Roach’s Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles so Somodio is familiar with his style. “Kambosos is a good fighter who likes to come forward and brawl,” said Somodio in a text message from L. A. “I’ve seen him in the gym sparring and I think he’s way better than Horn.”

Fortune had the same assessment of his two countrymen. “George is better than and fights like Horn,” the former heavyweight contender said. “He’s a tough guy and very aggressive.” When Roach arrived in Manila to supervise Pacquiao’s training last month, he said Kambosos volunteered to spar with the Filipino icon. “George wants to come over and spar with Manny,” said Roach. “I told him the Australian fans will hate him for it but that’s okay. George joked that they already hate him back in Australia anyway.”

On Roach’s recommendation, Pacquiao later approved bringing in Kambosos to join his sparring team of Mexican Adrian Young and Filipinos Leonardo Doronio and Sonny Katiandagho. Asked how Kambosos has fared against Pacquiao in sparring, Roach said, “very good.” Although the sentiment is Kambosos will beat Horn if they face off, a fight isn’t likely. Horn is ranked No. 1 welterweight by the WBO while Kambosos is the WBA’s No. 7 lightweight.

Kambosos, known as Ferocious, was described by writer Nick Hansen of The Daily Telegraph as the “new motormouth” and “self-proclaimed savior” of Australian boxing “who demands he is the best fighter in the country.” Hansen said Kambosos trained three weeks at Roach’s facility and sparred with the likes of Ray Beltran and Jose Ramirez. “Freddie loved what I was doing,” said Kambosos, quoted by Hansen. “I was making big statements over there (in L. A.).” As for helping out Pacquiao in training for Horn, Kambosos said, “I’ve got that bad boy look in Australian boxing anyway, the haters are going to hate … Horn is a Queenslander and I’m a New South Wales boy, it is what it is.”

Kambosos has a 12-0 record, with 6 KOS. He has so far victimized four Filipinos----Roberto Oyan and Rodynie Rafol on points and Michael Correa and Joebert de los Reyes by KO. Last May, he floored Qamil Dalla once en route to pounding out a 10-round unanimous decision in New Zealand with Filipino Danrex Tapdasan as referee. Kambosos is now the WBA Oceania and Pan Asian Boxing Association lightweight champion.

While Kambosos is in Pacquiao’s training camp, Horn has recruited Filipino Czar Amonsot as a sparmate. Amonsot, 31, is a southpaw like Pacquiao and rated No. 3 by the WBA in the superlightweight division. Amonsot is unbeaten in his last 18 fights, including 15 since relocating to Australia in 2010.

Australian Todd Makelim, who lost to Pacquiao on a third round knockout in Kidapawan City in 1999, said he wasn’t surprised that Horn invited Amonsot to his camp. “I trained Amonsot for seven of his fights and given that he’s Filipino, a southpaw and one of the most experienced and strongest pro fighters residing in Australia, it makes sense for Horn to partner up for sparring,” said Makelim in an email from Sydney.

“Unfortunately, Horn wasn’t able to bring in Zab Judah or Vasyl Lomachenko for sparring.”

Makelim said sparring with Pacquiao is an “experience opportunity” for Kambosos. “As Justin (Fortune) is Manny’s strength and conditioning coach and now Kambosos’ trainer, it’s quite an experience to train alongside one of the world’s greatest,” he said. “Freddie is one of the most knowledgeable trainers in the world, knowing Manny as well as he does and working with Justin. I believe the three together make a great combination. Glenn Rushton and Dundee Kim are two of who will be in Horn’s corner. As far as I’m aware, Glen has been a pro boxing trainer of Horn’s career only. Glen has also spent his time in the boxing industry as an amateur trainer with Jeff and other boxers.”

Photo: George Kambsosos (L) spars with Pacquiao.


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