Ukraine superstar Vasily Lomachenko and Sydney’s George Kambosos are set to rumble after weigh-in delay

Glen Quartermain
The Nightly
3 Min Read
George Kambosos Jr is ready to fight.
George Kambosos Jr is ready to fight. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The Sunday Times

A weigh-in delay and another prolonged stare-down marked the final public event ahead of Sunday’s sell-out IBF world lightweight bout between Ukraine superstar Vasily Lomachenko and Sydney’s George Kambosos at RAC Arena.

Lomachenko, a dual Olympic gold medallist as an amateur and three-weight world champion as a pro, made Kambosos wait onstage at Crown Ballroom in his underwear.

Lomachenko weighed in at 61.2kg, a nudge above Kambosos at 60.9kg.

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“I’m ready for a fight,” Kambosos told the packed crowd, which included Perth’s former world champion Danny Green and a big contingent of Greek supporters.

“Ready for a war. It’s going to be amazing. I can’t wait. Lomachenko bring it on.”

His prediction? “Victory. “I’ve got nothing else to say … victory.”

When asked why Lomachenko had delayed the weigh-in, Kambosos said: “He’s struggling with the weight, that’s why.

“I told you I’ve got nothing more to say. I’m here. I’m a true professional.”

Cherneka “Sugar Neekz” Johnson and Nina Hughes.
Cherneka “Sugar Neekz” Johnson and Nina Hughes. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The Sunday Times

When Lomachenko finally appeared, the Ukraine explained: “I don’t know, it’s too early. “I sit in my room, I’ve been waiting 10 hours.”

Just like after Wednesday’s press conference, they had another three-minute stare down before they were separated.

Kambosos, 30, is rated a $5 chance by TABtouch, while Lomachenko, 36, is at $1.15.

Kambosos (21-2, 10KOs) shocked the boxing world in 2021 when he upset Teofimo Lopez to claim the IBF, WBO, WBA and Ring lightweight titles at Madison Square Garden.

He has since lost twice to American Devin Haney – his only defeats – before winning the IBO strap last July.

Dual Olympic gold medallist Lomachenko, regarded as the one of the greatest amateur boxers of all time, also lost to Haney in a controversial unanimous decision last May after the Ukraine dominated the latter rounds.

Lomachenko, a southpaw, has a 17-3 record with 11KOs after a remarkable 396-1 record at amateur level.

Meanwhile, Kambosos’ manager and father Jim revealed he had unsuccessfully called for Japanese referee Katsuhiko Nakamura to be replaced by Englishman Steve Gray. Nakamura was in control of Kambosos’ second fight against Haney.

George Kambosos Jr and Vasiliy Lomachenko at the weigh-in.
George Kambosos Jr and Vasiliy Lomachenko at the weigh-in. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The Sunday Times

Lomachenko was asked on Wednesday what a win or loss would mean for his career.

“I’m just looking forward to the title, the IBF title,” he said. “After, I can think about my future.

“I don’t know what happens after this fight. I don’t know how my body will be.”

Lomachenko was due to face Kambosos in 2022 but scrapped the fight so he could return to Ukraine and defend his country against Russia’s invasion.

The fight is scheduled for just after midday WST and will be shown live and free to air in 50 countries, including prime time in the US, and on pay per view in Australia.

The undercard of Sunday’s event will feature two title bouts.

Australian Andrew Moloney will take on Mexican Pedro Guevara for the interim WBC super flyweight title.

Guevara was forced to strip naked behind a towel to make the 52kg weight to ensure the fight went ahead after he failed at his first attempt.

“You have very heavy underwear it seems,” host Ben Damon said.

New Zealand-born Australian Cherneka Johnson will be hoping to secure Briton Nina Hughes’ WBA bantamweight belt.

Another heavyweight non-title bout will feature former WBA world champion Lucas Browne (31-5, 27KOs) against Kiwi Hemi Ahio (21-1, 16KOs).

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