All across George Kambosos Jr.’s body are tattoos with significant meanings attached to them.
Whether it’s to do with his religion, his family or his heritage, each and every one is worth its weight in gold.
But it was the phrase inked across his chest that remained most pertinent after his rematch against Devin Haney on Sunday at Rod Laver Arena to once again decide who would be the undisputed king of the lightweight division.
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The quote reads: “Dream without fear”.
In a video for Athlete’s Voice in 2019, Kambosos Jr. explains he got the tattoo as a permanent reminder of not being “scared to chase your dreams”.
And facing Haney again, in front of a home crowd having already lost to him once, would have had most people running in the opposite direction, fearful of falling again.
But that is not what Kambosos Jr is about as his promoter Lou DiBella reminded the world of the “warrior” spirit coursing through the veins of ‘Ferocious’.
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“What he did tonight was a tremendous exhibition of heart and will and never quit,” DiBella said in the post-fight press conference.
“People love that, that’s what people respond to.
“I think today, I know today and I know the rest of this week and going forward when you read about this fight … the man here is a warrior. He’s been a Spartan warrior his whole career.
“Tonight, he was again. There are a lot of fights he could have out there that are going to be wars.”
It was an entirely different fight compared to Kambosos Jr. and Haney’s first encounter, when the American tagged ‘Ferocious’ time and time again with the jab.
In the second fight, Kambosos Jr. operated with a different game but simply had no answers for every question Haney presented after he figured out the game plan from the hometown hero.
And Kambosos Jr. was forced to show all of his Spartan warrior spirit in the 10th round, a round in which he landed one punch to Haney’s 34, according to CompuBox.
It had DiBella once again singing the praises of his client.
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“He took some huge punches and man, does he have a chin,” DiBella said.
“I don’t know in the 10th round how he was standing up. He got hit with some bombs in the tenth round. But he fought like the warrior he’s always fought like.
“I knew the first fight wasn’t representative of who he was. While the scores might have been similar, the fight wasn’t similar. I think every fan that was in there knew the fight wasn’t similar.
“He came out tonight and gave everything he had.”
Against Haney, Kambosos Jr. has come up twice against a boxer who many have tipped to go on and become one of the greatest to ever lace up the gloves.
The rematch against Haney was his third consecutive fight for the unified lightweight titles and his fifth consecutive fight against a current or former lightweight world champion in a stretch dating back to 2019.
As Jim Kambosos noted, “that doesn’t happen regularly”, with many of the top fighters opting to often duck each other for an easy payday or to continue padding their records.
“But the thing is, George Kambosos always tells me and he tells Lou, ‘I’m not just fighting anybody, I want to fight the best,’” Jim said.
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“Credit to you mate, you fought the best. You will be back to fight the best, simple as that.”
Kambosos Jr. himself admits he could have “milked” his run as the unified lightweight champ, but as his father said, it’s not in his blood to do so.
“I hope Australia’s proud, Greece is proud and the world is proud because we could have fought some easy fights and could have milked it a bit,” Kambosos Jr. said.
“But we took the risk. I’m proud of Devin. I’m proud that he came here twice and I wish him all the best in the future. We did 24 rounds together, so all the best.”
As the world awaits Kambosos Jr.’s next move, ‘Ferocious’ was quick to remind everyone that they’ll be waiting for some time.
He plans on enjoying some time with his wife and three kids after having three “big, big fights” in the space of a year along with all of the physical and mental strain that accompanies training camps.
Yet something entirely out of his control could prove that, as his tattoo suggests, he will continue to “dream without fear” for several years to come.
“I don’t know how much longer Devin has at 135 [pounds], Kambosos Jr. said.
“I think he might move to 140, God willing that opens up some doors for us and I’m a big, big name in the world of boxing still.
“I showed that warrior spirit like the greats, the Arturo Gatti’s and the [Roberto] Duran’s, and all these guys, they give it their all. You lose a fight, OK, you bounce back.
“I will be champion again, this is not the end.”