Lightweight contender George Kambosos Jr calls out Jose Pedraza

Anthony Cocks

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IBF number five ranked lightweight George ‘Ferocious’ Kambosos Jr 17-0 (10) has called for a fight against two-time world champion Jose Pedraza to prime him for a world title shot within the next 12 months.

The 26-year-old Greek-Australian, who has recently changed trainers from Justin Fortune to Javiel Centeno, is confident he can KO Pedraza.

“I would like to fight Jose Pedraza. He holds a lot of strength with the IBF. I am very confident I would defeat him,” Kambosos Jr told Fightnews.

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“I watched his last fight and all due respect to him as a two-time world champion, but he is very slow. He does a few good things right, but there is nothing special. Lomachenko struggled with him.

“In my head, if I can get the fight with Pedraza across the line I will KO him and that’s why I will be in LA next Thursday to sit down with Lou and Top Rank and try and put this fight (Pedraza-Kambosos) together. It would make a good statement in the US if I knockout Pedraza in five or six rounds which I am confident I can do.”

Kambosos Jr recently returned from Greece where he knocked out Richard Pena in Athens on June 7.

“My recent win in Greece last week over Pena was a good victory. Pena was a solid fighter. We tried to get rated top ten fighters but they all turned down the fight. They didn’t want to come to Greece to fight,” Kambosos Jr said.

“Pena with his long reach was similar to Pedraza and that’s why we picked him. It is a good tune up fight for Pedraza. Pena gave it his best shot. After he was knocked down in round four, he got up and kept trying to win. I put him down with a hard jab in round four.”

Kambosos Jr, who has been a sparring partner for Manny Pacquiao for his past three fights, says he has outgrown that role and wants to be seen as a genuine world title contender in his own right.

“I didn’t spar Manny Pacquiao for the Pena fight. I have finished working with Pacquiao. I’m still on great terms with Manny. I worked with Manny for three of his fights but I don’t want to be known as a sparring partner,” he said.

“Javiel Centeno from Miami is my new trainer. I am not training with Justin Fortune now. Javiel is focused on me 110%. Javiel worked with Randall Bailey previously. Miami is a better place to train.

“When I stopped working as a sparring partner to Manny they brought in Tim Tszyu as a sparring partner. The only reason he got that job was because George Kambosos Jr. wasn’t available anymore. Tim owes me. He should buy me a nice expensive bottle of alcohol. Look at all the publicity he got.

“I had three or four fights with Justin and soaked up everything I could, but I needed a change.  Justin did a great job and helped my career with over 250 rounds sparring Pacquiao. I love Pacquiao and hope he knocks Thurman out.”

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