Before Terence Crawford-Egidijus Kavaliauskas, the far more interesting Richard Commey-Teofimo Lopez, and Michael Conlan-Vladimir Nikitin on ESPN, the December 14th ESPN+ prelims will see Manny Pacquiao training partner George Kambosos Jr. take a notable step up against former IBF lightweight champ Mickey Bey.
“Ferocious” Kambosos (17-0, 10 KO) fought exclusively in his native Australia until 2018, when he took his first stateside fight to kick off a four-fight streak that saw him compete in the USA, Kuala Lumpur, and Greece. Despite a résumé that rings more of “prospect” than “contender,” he’s actually the highest-ranked IBF lightweight behind Commey and Lopez.
Guess that’s what beating such legendary names as JR Magboo and Rey Perez gets you.
Bey (23-2-1, 11 KO), a former Money Team representative, has had one of the weirder career arcs of any semi-notable figure in recent memory. He famously lost to John Molina Jr. in 2013 via literal last-minute TKO, claimed a world title via bogus decision over Miguel Vazquez the following, vacated the belt without defending it over a poor purse bid with Denis Shafikov, unsuccessfully challenged Rances Barthelemy for that same belt in 2016, then vanished from the face of the Earth.
He returned in September with a TKO of a 3-5-1 opponent and now trains under Andre Rozier.
Bey at his best was a competent spoiler with the skills to derail lower-level prospects; if there’s anything of that left in him, this should tell us a decent amount about Kambosos.