George Kambosos Jnr is set to take his preparation for his world title rematch with Devin Haney off-shore and return to the Philippines where he once served as Manny Pacquiao’s chief sparring partner.
Kambosos and Haney will get back into the ring in Melbourne on October 16 with the Australian declaring the fight as “do or die” for his career.
The American won their June battle with a unanimous decision and took Kambosos’s three belts to become undisputed world champion.
Kambosos spent three years between 2017 and 2019 on and off in the Philippines with Pacquiao, regarded as one of the all-time boxing greats.
As part of his apprenticeship, he sparred for 250 rounds with Pacquiao and also fought twice on his undercard before graduating to earn his own shot at a world title.
The Sydneysider wanted to keep details of his preparation under wraps but he told AAP he planned to be “unreachable and out of sight”, not planning to return until 10 days before the Rod Laver Arena fight.
Kambosos carried the can for the promotion of the June bout, which drew 42,000 fans to Marvel Stadium, and described it as his “home-coming” with the fight his first in Australia since 2017.
His camp said that the non-stop promotion was “mentally exhausting” and this time his only focus would be on the fight and regaining his world crown.
“I wanted it that big, I had interest in it, but I had to promote the fight to what it was – the second biggest fight in Australian history,” Kambosos told AAP.
“I had to go a even more out of character to do what I had to do because Devin’s not the most polarising figure, the way he talks but also the way he fights.
“But that’s dead in the water now, that’s in the past, and I’m very focused and “Ferocious” is back and that’s the most important thing.”
Kambosos, whose record is now 20-1, said having a rematch clause against Haney may have played on his mind.
“It could have been a safety net, thinking alright we can do it again,” Kambosos said.
“I’ve always had my back against the wall and it’s where I feel most comfortable.
“You can see the way I’m relaxed, I’m not on edge like I was the last time and I’m not run into the ground.
“Last time I was run to the ground with so many commitments but I feel fresh and when I get away I’m going to be out of sight and out of reach.”
Stretching his record to 28-0, Haney neutralised Kambosos and used his jab to earn a clear points decision.
The Australian wasn’t bothered that many doubted he could turn the tables on the “The Dream”.
“My whole career I’ve been the underdog so this is nothing new for me now and this is a good position I’m in,” Kambosos added.
“He’s a good champion and I look forward to testing my skills.
“A lot of people are not excited about the rematch, but as a former champion, as a fighter, how could I pass up on this opportunity.
“Rod Laver will be like a colosseum and the underdog is back.”