Heralded by a live rendition of ‘To Zeibekiko Tis Evdokias,’ George Kambosos Jr entered Melbourne’s Federation Square on Thursday for an open workout ahead of his world title defence this Sunday.
With hundreds of vocal fans cheering in support, the world lightweight champion described it as a humbling experience.
“I’m very humbled by everyone coming here today, spending your time to be behind me, to be in my corner,” an emotional Kambosos told the crowd.
“I’m ready on Sunday for war, I’m ready to fight for you. These are our belts, I fight for both our countries with all my heart.”
From Greece to the United Kingdom and all corners of Australia, spectators flocked to Federation Square to show their support for the Greek Australian boxer.
Amongst the fans was 16-year-old Tony, one of the three bouzouki players enlivening the pro-Kambosos crowd.
“It was great to play for George and the people here today to create that Greek and Spartan feeling,” he told The Greek Herald.
“It’s awesome seeing Greek and Australian people coming together, all in one place and with their flags.”
Melbournian Alex, who was on her way home with her two young children, said she was lured to the square by the live Greek music.
“I loved the guitars [bouzoukia]. Me and the kids were dancing at the end of the circle,” Alex, who has Italian heritage, told The Greek Herald.
The mother-of-two commended the Greek community for supporting George and said: “It’s great to see the culture is still alive in Melbourne.”
Students of the Manasis School of Greek Dance and Culture, Angie and Georgia, said performing the Tsamiko from within the ring and Zorba in the square wasn’t a nerve-wracking experience.
“We’re proud to be dancing and representing our culture in this way,” Angie said.
A member of the Hellenic Fan Club spoke with us and likened the magnitude of the Kambosos v Haney fight to that of Greece and Portugal in the early 2000s.
“This is our generation’s Euro 2004,” he said.
“Something we’ve all dreamed about as kids is to have a Greek world champion and to have one from Australia is just incredible.”
Before George faces off against Devin Haney to become the undisputed champion of the lightweight division, middleweight Greek Australian, Terry Nickolas, will also be clashing against Lachlan Higgins on Sunday.
For Melbournian Spiro, he told us: “it’s absolutely awesome to have two young greek blokes representing not only Australia but the Greeks of the world.”
In an interview with The Greek Herald, Terry Nickolas said witnessing and receiving the support from both Greek and Australian fans was “incredible.”
“The love and support we get is unbelievable and I look forward to showcasing my skill on Sunday,” he said.
WATCH: George Kambosos Jr ‘humbled’ by Greek and Australian reception ahead of world title defence