For George Kambosos Jnr, it’s personal.
Kambosos, the No.2 ranked lightweight in Australia, will fight the No.1 ranked Western Australian Brandon Ogilvie at the Big Top at Luna Park on Saturday night in arguably the biggest fight in Australia this year.
The 23-year-old from Sylvania, the Pan Asia Boxing Association lightweight champion, will take on Ogilvie for the WBC Asia title which will hand the winner a top 15 ranking in the WBC.
Ranked as high as No.12 in the WBA before slipping to 14th while being forced to wait for this fight, a win for Kambosos would give him a world ranking in two organisations.
The pair were scheduled to fight on the Danny Green undercard in Melbourne in August only for the bout to be postponed with Perth fighter Ogilvie, ranked No.12 in the WBA, pulling out with a cut.
Kambosos told the Leader he was ready to add Ogilvie’s scalp to his perfect 10-0 professional record.
“This is it for me. Once I take him out, I make a big statement. I’ve got some big opportunities in America. And he’s in my way of making my dream that much closer to a reality,” he said.
“From a young kid, 11 or 12-years-old, my dream was always to be a world champion. And it’s come down to this – I clean this guy up in my backyard, I get to No.8 in the world, get another world rating in another huge association and no one else can say anything after that.
“Once I knock him out I’m the best here, I become the king, the superstar of Australia, the next big thing here.”
Kambosos has sparred 160 rounds in preparation for the bout including a training camp in the US with Manny Pacquiao’s Australian trainer Justin Fortune.
The intense training has Kambosos primed to score what could be the most decisive – and most important – victory of his career so far.
There is also bad blood between the pair, who fought three times as amateurs, with Ogilvie’s camp reportedly accusing Kambosos of ducking a fight with former Australian lightweight champion Darragh Foley and saying that his training camp in the US was merely “shadow boxing in front of a mirror.”
But Kambosos has been left unruffled by the trash talk from the west coast and had the most stinging of barbs of his own reserved for Ogilvie.
“I know he’s scared,” Kambosos said.
“All his games that he’s been playing, [saying] I’m not going to be there and all that, I wouldn’t give up the opportunity to lay leather on him.
“This is personal. I want to take this guy out. I want to prove that there’s no more little fights around and barking who is the best. I’m the best.”