George Kambosos has been flying under the radar since his rematch with Devin Haney was set for October 16th in Melbourne. The Greek-Australian, who goes by the nickname ‘ferocious’ has made drastic changes to his lifestyle as part of his commitment to win back his belts this Sunday. The 29-year-old has turned off his phone and moved away from his wife and three kids to avoid distractions. He’s moved into his gym and is relishing the grind behind closed doors.
To focus on his mission of reclaiming his belts, Kambosos has stripped away almost everything in his life besides training. “No distractions, that’s what I wanted. My gym is where I do my best work and that’s how I wanted it,” he told The Sun. “I’ve been here four-and-a-half weeks now. I’ve had a lot of peace and quiet. I have my bed upstairs and the gym is downstairs.”
Kambosos was all talk in the lead up to his first bout with Haney in June, but he proved to be no match for his rival. He hardly laid a glove on Haney, who has one of the best jabs in boxing and used it to dominate the fight.
Kambosos took a supercharged path to stardom after an upset victory over Teofimo Lopez in 2021. He claimed an impressive haul of lightweight titles and became an overnight sensation in the process. With the added media attention, the task of promoting his title defence against Haney to all of Australia became a major distraction in preparation for the fight.
“I had a stadium to sell. Haney was not going to sell the stadium, I was the one that doubled up on everything,” he told The Sun. “Ultimately, it took a lot out of me but no excuses. Haney won the first fight but that’s why it was a two-fight deal. There’s two parts to this story.”
Just what is Kambosos doing with all his time in the gym? The upper level features a mattress and a TV that Kambosos calls his “office”, which he uses to study fights and improve his mental game. “I’ve got a nice office upstairs, put the bed in there, got a TV just to study old-school fights and obviously the first fight between me and Haney,” he said. Downstairs is a dedicated training centre with a boxing ring and workout gear. “That’s all I need. I’m a fighter, I could’ve stayed in a fancy place. I could’ve stayed in my house but there were distractions for me.”
On the Main Event Boxing podcast, fight promoter Lou DiBella admitted he was frustrated from a publicity standpoint by Kambosos’ decision to go off the grid to prepare for the fight. But DiBella also noticed a distinct change in Kambosos’ physique. “I’ll tell you this, he looks differently physically this time,” DiBella said. “He looks like a statue of a Greek God and the last time he looked like a content happy champion. I see a physical difference.”
Kambosos’ Greek heritage is important to him. His grandparents migrated to Australia from Sparta in Greece. Seeing himself as a Spartan warrior and with the fighting skill to back it up, Kambosos has a tattoo of the Spartan war-cry “Never retreat, never surrender” on his back. With the fight of his life just around the corner, this is how George Kambosos Jr has been training like a Spartan.
Kambosos previously described his gruelling workout plan to Maxim. He says he usually works out two to three times a day. That’s right, not per week, two to three times per day. Some might say he’s overdoing it, but it’s hard to argue with the results.
Kambosos’ mornings start early. The boxer rises at 6am and gets straight into some cardio. Typically, a 10km road run is just what he needs to start the day, but that’s just a warm-up. He follows that up with a series of ab and core strengthening exercises.
At 12pm, it’s time for a two-and-a-half hour boxing session. According to Kambosos, the session includes “shadow boxing, pad work, bag work, sparring and game planning followed by more ab and core workouts.”
The final session of the day is strength and conditioning. Kambosos says “These workouts vary from conditioning circuits, power lifts, explosive lifts, compound lifts, fitness circuits and speed and agility.”
After such an action-packed day, recovery is just as important as the workout itself for Kambosos. He regularly incorporates a recovery session into his routine, which could be an ice bath, a sauna session, or simply a massage. He makes sure to get a good night’s sleep before starting the same brutal routine all over again the next day.
In the boxing world, following a strict diet plan is paramount. Building strength and muscle while trying to stay in your weight class is just as challenging as training. Kambosos told Maxim he follows a strict high protein and low carb diet to stay under the 61kg limit for the lightweight division.
Kambosos’ meal plan keeps it simple. He sticks to the classics like chicken, turkey, fish, brown rice and grains, while making sure to avoid junk food. “I also have a lot of fruit and vegetables because they’re great for keeping the weight down,” he told Maxim. “I drink a lot of alkaline water to stay fully hydrated.”
Kambosos will be the heavy underdog when he faces Haney this Sunday in Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena. But with his off the grid routine of training like a Spartan, Kambosos is confident he’ll pull off the upset.