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George Kambosos Jr.: Sports Ambassador of Goodwill


PhilBoxing.com




GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- He was the ?fat kid? who used to be bullied in school, took up boxing only to eliminate the excess baggage in his body and found himself the reigning World Boxing Association Oceania and International Boxing Federation Pan Pacific lightweight champion.

George Kambosos Jr. again works as Manny Pacquao?s chief sparring partner for the Filipino ring great?s coming fight with Argentine WBA welterweight titleholder Lucas Matthysse this July 15, the same job he held in the eight-division champ?s last fight against fellow Aussie Jeff Horn a year ago.

?Jeff beat Manny in that fight or supposed to have beaten Manny. To be honest with you, I know, deep in my heart that Manny won that fight,? the Sydney born fighter with Greek blood flowing in his vein asserted at the start of this interview Tuesday over a cup of coffee at the lobby of the Greenleaf Hotel here following a 10-round skirmish with Pacquiao.

?But that?s another story. That?s already a thing of the past. We talk about the present,? Kambosos pointed out. ?This time we?ll see to it that Manny wins. We?re working hard, the coaching staff. Manny?s working hard, very, very hard.?

?There?ll be no more playing around here, I?m sure of that. And granting that there still will be, we?ll make sure we would have prepared Manny for that,? Kambosos, known as ?Ferocious? for his do-or-die style in the ring, assured rather blatantly. ?Manny?s too good a person to fall victim to that.?

Kambosos though has to caution Pacquiao: ?Matthysse is stronger and smarter than Horn. Although he?s slower than Manny, he?s not that slow-footed as some people think he is. He could be a more dangerous opponent.?

Asked what he could contribute to the fighting senators? arsenal, Kambosos retorted: ?Manny is known for his fast-paced kind if fighting. So do I. Maybe he?s quicker than I am. Maybe I?m faster than him.?

?But Manny needs a sparring partner as fast as him. Or even faster. That I believe I can provide. I provide him with a faster target. And a quicker defender. You know what I mean?? he said rather philosophically.

?I?m a fast guy in front of him. If he can hit me, he can hit anybody, including Lucas. If he can defend against me, he can defend against anybody,? he stressed.

Kambosos said that?s probably the reason why the former World Boxing Organization 147-pound belt-owner took him as dancing mate for the second time.

?And I thank him for that. I owe him because besides hiring me as his sparring partner, he, too, included me in his undercard, an opportunity to improve on my career.?

?But most importantly, that also gave me a chance to serve as bridge in improving the sports relationship between the Philippines and Australia which was somewhat stained by Jeff Horn fiasco,? he assured.

?I would love that, I tell you. It?ll be an honor to be part that,? Kambosos said. ?A fat Australian boy being bullied around, became a fighter now an Ambassador of Goodwill. Wow!? he exclaimed.

Photo: Kambosos in action against Pacquiao during sparring session.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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