George Kambosos Jr vs Devin Haney, sparring sessions, Jayden Buan, Manny Pacquiao, boxing news

As a youngster, Jayden Buan was a self-confessed “fanboy” of George Kambosos Jr., and all of his friends knew it.

With a picture of ‘Ferocious’ as his wallpaper, Buan adored watching him strut his stuff in the ring.

There were also familial ties to Kambosos Jr. Too, as Buan’s cousin, Robert ‘Gummy Toomey’ had fought him for the Australian lightweight title back in 2014.

But Buan was forced to snap out of his fanboy phase only a few weeks ago.

Why?

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George Kambosos Jr. and Jayden Buan at an event in Punchbowl in 2017. Source: Supplied.Source: Supplied

Because Kambosos Jr. was calling, and he wanted the 20-year-old to spar with him in his camp ahead of the lightweight unification bout against Devin Haney on Sunday at Marvel Stadium.

“When he sent me a text and a call to spar with him a couple of weeks ago, four or five weeks ago, I was just cheering,” Buan told foxsports.com.au.

“’Wow, I’m actually going to go and spar the champ, the best in the world.’

“I made sure I went in there and gave him good work. I feel like I did good.”

The 20-year-old is still an amateur, but has had two professional exhibitions in Vietnam under his belt.

Buan also revealed he’s in discussions with Ferocious Promotions to manage him once he inevitably takes the plunge into turning pro.

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It was an eye-opening four weeks spent with Kambosos Jr. and his other sparring partners, including one of the top super featherweights in the world in Albert Bell as well as Aussie star Dana Coolwell to name two.

The opportunity to be a sponge to a number of high-level fighters is the experience of a lifetime, but for Buan, he’s hoping the journey will be similar to the one his hero embarked on with an all-time boxing great.

“I learn from the best, just like George learned from Manny Pacquiao,” Buan said.

“I see myself in that stage. He’s definitely my Manny Pacquiao right now.

“Hopefully one day in the future we talk about this and that Jayden Buan used to spar with George Kambosos Jr. in his championship days.

“That’s exactly how I see it.”

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Kambosos Jr. and Buan pose together after a sparring session at the Ferocious Gym in Mortdale. Source: Supplied.Source: Supplied

It’s no secret that during Pacquiao’s camps, Kambosos Jr. had to push himself harder than he’d ever pushed himself previously.

Whether it was running through the mountains and hills of General Santos in the Philippines or the relentless sparring rounds and exercises afterwards, it steeled the Australian en route to his monumental victory over Teofimo Lopez in November last year.

With Kambosos Jr. now leading his own camp and no longer under Pacquiao’s wing, Buan was able to get a first-hand glimpse at what truly goes into becoming the best as he too had to go beyond his known limits just to keep up.

“The big thing that shocked me was the output that George was doing and how fit he was,” Buan said.

“He never slowed down in any of the rounds. It was like he kept going up and up and up. It doesn’t seem like he gets tired. That’s what really shocked me.

“That’s what I’ve got to really learn from myself, getting that cardio going and that mental strength that George has.”

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Despite being in negotiations with Ferocious Promotions to manage him when he turns pro, Buan is in no rush.

He aims to compete in the World Championships at the end of the year and also could stick around as an amateur for the 2024 Paris Olympics, chasing a shot at international glory and the chance to become an Aussie hero.

But spending time at camp with his childhood hero, Buan’s eyes have well and truly been opened to what it takes to be at the pinnacle of the boxing world.

And it’s only made him hungrier.

“I’m super motivated,” Buan said.

“As soon as George gave me that call-up, I haven’t trained that hard. Ever.

“Now I’m going to stick to that workload and keep up that routine. It’s what the champ does. I know I’ll become world champion one day, it doesn’t matter what path I’ll take.”

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