Kambosos: I’ve Been In Haney’s Head For A Very Long Time; Just Having Fun With It

Boxing Scene

George Kambosos Jr. hasn’t even used what he would consider his harsher trash talk during the promotion of his showdown with Devin Haney.

The unbeaten IBF/WBA/WBO lightweight champion still senses that he has annoyed Haney with some of what he has said, most notably when he called Haney “a rat” earlier this week for informing him about Teofimo Lopez’s struggles during training camp prior to their fight November 27. Australia’s Kambosos believes his abrasive behavior affected Lopez similarly before he upset the undefeated, unified lightweight champion by split decision in their 12-round bout six months ago at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York.

“I believe I’ve ruffled a lot of feathers and, you know, he’s very frustrated and trying to not let me inside his head,” Kambosos told BoxingScene.com in reference to Haney. “But I feel I’ve been in his head for a very long time and I’m just having fun with it, to be honest. I am a big advocate of the art of war and I have used certain strategies to get under his skin. But again, I’m not bringing out any of the big guns because I haven’t had to, to be honest. He’s just falling into the traps. I am under his skin.”

Kambosos hopes Haney is adversely affected when the WBC world lightweight champion enters hostile territory Sunday afternoon at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne as well. The 28-year-old Kambosos is from Sydney, but Melbourne has a large Greek population, which figures to benefit Kambosos in his first fight since he defeated Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs).

“It’s truly what I dreamt of,” Kambosos said. “To now have my whole country behind me, supporting me, it’s gonna be amazing. We had an open workout [Thursday] and there were so many passionate fans, and that’s just a small entrée of what’s to come Sunday. It’s been a long, hard journey to get to this, but you know, it’s great to see the fans coming out to support it.”

ESPN will broadcast Kambosos-Haney live in the United States, where their main event is expected to begin at approximately 11:15 p.m. ET.

Foxtel Main Event will air their 12-round, 135-pound title fight as the featured attraction of a pay-per-view show Sunday afternoon in Australia. Kambosos-Haney is set to start at around 1:15 p.m. local time.

Unless their bout results in a draw or a no-contest, the winner will become boxing’s eighth fully unified champion of the sport’s four-belt era. Most sportsbooks list Haney (27-0, 15 KOs), of Henderson, Nevada, as slightly less than a 2-1 favorite to beat Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs).

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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