It’s the rivalry that never was until George Kambosos lost his belts to Devin Haney in June and now Tim Tszyu has clapped back at the former unified lightweight world champion following a swipe over who’s Australia’s pay-per-view king.
Tszyu is still waiting for confirmation on a date for his chance at becoming the undisputed king of the super welterweight division against champion Jermell Charlo, which is expected to take place in the US in either October or November.
He plans on taking his entire camp to America in preparation for the bout as he slowly puts things together following a recent problem with knuckles on both hands.
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While Kambosos has hinted his rematch with Haney will take place in a bout slated for October in Australia, the former champion had plenty to say in recent weeks after his loss, regarding Tszyu’s place at the top of the PPV tree in Australia.
“I am still the biggest name in Australian boxing,” Kambosos told News Corp.
“Tim can barely get crowds to his fights in Australia.
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“The last time I checked, when did Tim Tszyu fight in front of 41,000 fans in a packed stadium? He can barely get 10,000 to his fights, it’s small-time stuff, even against Jeff Horn (in August 2020), it was Horn’s name that attracted the crowd that it did.”
Both men trained at Tszyu’s Rockdale gym before a falling out led to Kambosos to go his own way and take up his training under Aussie Justin Fortune rather than Tszyu’s uncle Igor Golubev. The swipe was all the more surprising given Kambosos has always played a straight bat when asked about Tszyu in the lead up to all of his tips, never straying from “wishing him luck”.
Speaking to Wide World of Sports, Tszyu seemed unfazed by Kambosos’ bold statement, defending his ability to draw in a crowd.
“I don’t really understand all that. I don’t know if it’s come from him or whoever. In the last two years we’ve had COVID people have been fighting in front of no one and we were able to do something, “Tszyu said.
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“In terms of the 10,000, that much at the Qudos Bank Arena that was sold out. I don’t know where he’s getting that from. Look you have fighters in America fighting at MGM Grand with 10,000 people. I think 10,000 people is actually an achievement, it’s not an underachievement.
“I’ve got nothing bad to say about him at all man. I wish him luck, he’s doing great things for boxing in Australia and he’s doing great things for his family.
“In terms of talking bad about me I guess, I wasn’t brought up in a family to say bad things about people. If he’s got something bad to say, that’s his insecurities and it’s his problem, not mine.”
Kambosos’ unanimous decision loss to Haney reportedly garnered less that 60,000 pay-per-view buys, well short of Tszyu’s record of 100,000, a feat he achieved twice against Jeff Horn and Bowyn Morgan in 2020, although the 21-0 fighter did share the card with the Paul Gallen vs. Mark Hunt in the latter clash.
Figures in the US showed 1.3 million American viewers watched the Kambosos-Haney fight on ESPN.
Haney (28-0, 15KO) told American media he was not keen on fighting Kambosos and instead had eyes on Vasiliy Lomachenko or Gervonta Davis.
However, under the contractual terms of their two-fight deal, Haney must face Kambosos again, giving the Aussie a prime opportunity to claim back the jewels he gave up in the July clash in Melbourne.
As for Kambosos’ chances of pulling off the upset, Tszyu said it’s possible but unlikely against a “special” fighter like Haney.
“To fight him you have to upset the rhythm, I guess George couldn’t do it – it’s that simple. Haney took control of that fight with one hand.
“In my opinion from what I saw in the first fight I think Haney is a superior fighter. George has to bring a complete different game plan.
“That’s the funny thing about boxing you never know what could happen. It could go in George’s direction but I think Haney is a very slick boxer and is the future of the lightweight division.
“I don’t think he’s (George) wasting his time, it’s a great opportunity to overcome something you’ve failed before. If I was him I’d be doing the same thing.”
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