In a rematch with high stakes, Devin Haney (29-0) retained his undisputed lightweight championship against Aussie George Kambosos Jr in a thrilling but one-sided encounter.
The win for Haney solidifies his place as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and sets him up for many big fights down the line with the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis and Shakur Stevenson.
Back in June, Haney defeated Kambosos to unify all the belts in the 135lbs division, but due to a rematch clause the Aussie was entitled to a second encounter.
Many Australian boxing fans were wondering if Kambosos could make the adjustments necessary to earn a second reign as world champion, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case.
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At the start of the first round, it was clear that there was a change in Kambosos’ approach as he combined his more aggressive approach with stance switching.
Although Haney did a good job of keeping him away with the jab, Kambosos would have success getting inside and making the fight ugly for the champion.
Kambosos would finish the round strong after a flurry of punches against the ropes as the crowd roared in excitement.
In the second round, Haney started to have a lot more success with his right hand in order to counter the Aussie’s aggression.
Haney’s right hand would begin to become the story of the fight as the rounds went on, as he started to time his opponent’s movements to land his cross more precisely.
In the middle rounds, Haney started to slow the fight to his rhythm. Kambosos’ stance switching which proved to be effective in the first round was starting to get timed by Haney’s right cross.
With Kambosos’ aggression starting to decrease, Haney’s confidence started to increase as the Aussie yet again found himself in a position where the fight was starting to slip away.
To the advice of his corner, Kambosos stopped switching to southpaw.
The Aussie tried to press forward but kept getting picked apart by the jab. At the end of the eighth round, Kambosos landed a huge right hand but the champion took it well.
The ninth round saw Kambosos take more risks which saw him getting countered with hard shots, these shots would continue in the tenth when Haney rocked the former champion and looked to move in for the finish.
Kambosos would show his toughness as he didn’t go down despite the punishment.
Needing a knockout in the final round, Kambosos approached the last round on the front foot. Knowing he had the fight in the bag, Haney simply stayed away until the final bell.
When the judges read out their scorecards, Devin Haney was announced the winner by unanimous decision once again (119-109, 118-110 x2).
During his post-fight interview with Warren Smith, Haney stated that he was surprised by Kambosos’ unorthodox approach but was easily able to quickly adapt to it.
“I knew he was looking for the jab” Haney said, “we wanted to show some other tools in our arsenal, my dad wanted me to throw the hook more but I feel like the right hand was what won me the fight tonight.
“I didn’t expect him to be switching, but I eventually caught up to his timing and his angles and I started picking my shots more.”
When asked about future fights, Haney stated that he was willing to fight the best.
“We’re taking on all comers” Haney said, “no matter who it is, we want to fight the best fighters in the world, I believe I’m the best fighter in the world, bring them on.”
For Haney, the win sets him up for many big fights in the future, but for the Aussie a second loss to Haney is a blow and it could be a long road back for him to get another shot at glory.
“This guy is a top five pound-for-pound fighter,” Kambosos said, “I had a great challenge for 24 rounds, I had a great win last year [vs Teofimo Lopez] I was on top of the world and I tried to chase the best.”
“To do it twice with him I’m honoured, I’m very appreciative of the opportunity.”
“He’s a special fighter and I’ll be back, it’s not the end.”
Rest Of The Card
- Jason Moloney def. Nawaphon Kaikanha by unanimous decision (118-110, 118-110, 119-109)
- Andrew Moloney def. Norbelto Jimenez by unanimous decision (97-90, 98-88, 98-89)
- Cherneka Johnson def. Susie Ramadan by unanimous decision (97-90, 96-92, 96-91)
- Faiga Opelu def. Hemi Ahio by TKO (R4)
- David Nyika def. Titi Motusaga by KO (R2)
- Lorenzo Simpson def. Marcus Heywood by unanimous decision
- Amari Jones def. Tej Pratap Singh
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