George Kambosos Jr eyeing Shakur Stevenson, Vasyl Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis

George Kambosos Jr is targeting fights with Shakur Stevenson, Vasyl Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis as he prepares for the next chapter of his career.

The Australian is being guided by both Top Rank and Lou DiBella as he seeks to rebuild after successive defeats by Devin Haney, and via Top Rank – the promoters of Stevenson and Lomachenko – is aware that victory over Maxi Hughes on Saturday would mean high-profile fights again coming his way.

Kambosos Jr was in Las Vegas to watch Haney-Lomachenko, aware that in the event of victory for the Ukrainian he would be in contention to challenge him next. There is instead uncertainty throughout the lightweight division while Haney, the undisputed champion, considers his next move, but Kambosos Jr believes that the American is destined for the 140lbs division and is preparing to pounce if and when the opportunities he expects fall into place.

“Devin, at this stage, is the guy,” the 30 year old said. “He’s the [number one at lightweight;] that’s proven; he’s beat the likes of myself; he’s beat Lomachenko. It’s common sense [he’s going to move up to 140lbs for his next fight]. You see how much talk there is with [a potential fight against Regis] Prograis. He’s big; he’s growing; he’s still young. For his health and the next steps for his career it makes a lot of sense.

“I thought Devin was going to dominate a little bit more [against Lomachenko]. I still was happy with the decision – and a lot of people won’t agree with me – but you gotta take the belts off the champion. Like Devin took them off me; like when I took them off [Teofimo] Lopez. That’s no disrespect to Lomachenko – he showed so much more than a lot of people expected. Without Haney being the champion maybe it could have gone either way. 

“Hearing that he took round 12 off is a little bit disappointing, because a big fight like that, you come to those 11ths and 12ths, you give everything. Even in the Haney fights, especially the second one, when I knew I was down I still was pushing so hard in rounds 11 and 12. I can look myself in the mirror and say, ‘I gave everything’. A [future] hall of famer like Lomachenko is going to be questioning himself a lot; you don’t want that from a fighter like that.

“We were supposed to fight back in 2018. We had a signed deal to fight [in 2022]. Third time lucky would have been the charm, but that fight’s still there. There’s even a plan to possibly fight in Greece. With the war [Russia’s invasion of Ukraine], there are a lot of Ukrainians in Greece; I’m a massive name in Greece.”

Stevenson has been installed as the mandatory challenger for the WBC lightweight title, and has requested the WBO award him the same status. “Tank” Davis is expected to fight again before the end of the year, but unlike in the context of a potential fight with Stevenson or Lomachenko, the dysfunctional relationship that exists between Top Rank and Premier Boxing Champions means Davis-Kambosos Jr is considerably less likely to take place.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Shakur Stevenson,” Kambosos continued. “But it’s definitely a guy – there’s interest there. Now he’s in the lightweight division and chasing his mark; I’m chasing my mark too. It’s a fight that could, and probably will, happen in the near future. 

“[Davis is] a definite fight I’ve been quite vocal about. I was vocal before the Lopez fight – I could see certain styles that match up. Tank’s a great fighter – very dynamic and explosive, and a power puncher. We saw what he did with Ryan Garcia. He put a rehydration clause [in place] – that taints for me a little bit that victory. But Ryan signed up for it. Definitely a fight I’d like to have. At this stage of our careers he’s the A-side, and you’d go wherever you’d have to go to make that fight happen.

“We’ve got the best fighters in the world [at 135lbs]. The biggest names. We’ve shown a lot of us are willing to fight each other. We’ll look back, in many years, and say, ‘What a time that was – we had the best fighters fighting the best’. You win some; you lose some; you bounce back. That’s what it’s all about. You want the difficult fights; the hard fights. You want to be able to prove people wrong. 

“Yeah, it comes with the money, but the money is not the objective. It’s the legacy; getting the names on the resume. That’s what I’m chasing – at 30 years of age [Hughes is 33] I feel better than ever. ‘I’m still here – I can bounce back.’

“Look at the lightweight division, and the 140lbs division. Top Rank has the majority of the big, big names.”