Updated: Oct 14, 2022
The rematch for all four world title belts in the lightweight division goes down this weekend as Devin Haney takes on George Kambosos Jr for 135-pound supremacy.
It could be fair to say this is a rematch that boxing fans weren’t overly fussed on seeing, given that ‘The Dream’ won so convincingly the first time around. Haney will again have to travel down under, this time to defend the belts he ripped from the hands of Kambosos Jr so convincingly in June.
Regardless of whether you think this rematch should go ahead, it’s still a huge fight. In Devin Haney you have a man who has improved in every fight over the past few years, and is still just 23-years-old. Haney boasts a perfect 28-0 record, including 15 knockout victories.
Wins over the likes of Jorge Linares, Joseph Diaz and Yuriorkis Gamboa have made Haney one of the biggest draws in the lightweight division. Not only is Haney a huge draw now with his flawless boxing style, he also holds all four world title belts.
The San Francisco man won the interim WBC World Title back in 2019 when he forced Zaur Abdullaev to retire after four rounds. In his next bout against Alfredo Santiago, ‘The Dream’ was made the full WBC World Champion, after coasting to a comprehensive unanimous decision victory.
All of the other recognised belts at lightweight were held by Teofimo Lopez at this stage, who had shocked the world in beating Vasyl Lomachenko in their unification clash. Of course, that is where George Kambosos Jr comes in. He went into the lion's den, defeating Lopez by split decision in their bout in November 2021.
The undisputed clash between Haney and Kambosos Jr was then made for all the marbles at 135-pounds. In the end, it’s fair to say the fight was a bit of an anti-climax. Boxing fans thought that the fight would be a lot closer than it turned out, with Haney winning almost every round on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
Looking more in depth at that fight, it was a complete masterclass from Haney. After 36 minutes of boxing action, the former American amateur sensation barely had a scratch on him. He landed his electric jab at will, peppering the Australian with countless shots and landing his lightening combinations with relative ease.
It’s fair to say that the first fight between Kambosos Jr and Haney was the coming out party of ‘The Dream’. Haney was the slight betting favourite going into the fight, but put on a clinic and boxed the head off his Australian opponent in his own backyard. Due to their being a rematch in the original contract, the 23-year-old will have to do the same thing again this weekend in Melbourne.
The first fight was so lopsided that Kambosos Jr will have to make huge changes if he is to walk away victorious this time on home soil. Of course, we all know ‘Ferocious’ is capable of doing just that, given the magnitude and brilliance of his performance against Teofimo Lopez when he became the unified champion at 135-pounds.
You could argue that the lightweight division is the most exciting in boxing right now. Of course you have both Haney and Kambosos Jr hanging around at the top of the tree, but let's not forget the insane talents of the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia and Teofimo Lopez. Another name you can throw into the lightweight mix is former two-weight world champion, Shakur Stevenson, who looks to be stepping up from super-featherweight after failing to make the limit in his last fight.
Provided Haney wins on his travels to Australia and comes away as the Wizard of Oz, the world is his oyster in terms of bumper fights. All of those names previously mentioned versus Devin Haney would do huge pay-per-view numbers, as well as selling out arenas and stadiums all around the world, especially in the United States.
Looking at the keys to victory for both fighters now, if you are George Kambosos Jr, you need to make an abundance of changes. The Aussie will need to bring the fight to Haney, walk forward more and beat Haney to the punch. Of course, this is easier said than done, but if he wants to become a two-time lightweight champion of the world, it is integral that he ups the pace, takes the fight to the American and goes for the jugular.
For Haney, it’s pretty simple what he needs to do. If ‘The Dream’ can replicate what he did in the first fight four months ago, he will get his hand raised for the 29th time in the professional ring, it's as simple as that. As the 5”8 lightweight king already has that one win over Kambosos Jr, thoughts of a knockout victory this time around may be occupying his mind. Although the KO/TKO is on paper unlikely, there were stages in the first fight that Kambosos was visibly hurt by the sheer timing, speed and spite of Devin Haney’s punches.
If the young American superstar can put together 3/4/5 punch combinations, punch in bunches and change the angle of his attacks time and time again, he may be able to force that stoppage in the second half of the fight. Of course, he will have to be wary of what’s coming back from Kambosos, who is a big puncher at the weight, as we saw against Teofimo Lopez when he dropped ‘The Takeover’ in the very first round of their fight last November.
Can Kambosos win? Of course he can. Will he win? It's fair to say that is unlikely. Haney is the overriding favourite here, and it is clear to see why. The sheer boxing clinic he put on the first time around has made boxing fans believe he is levels above his opponent. Only time will tell what happens on fight night, but one thing is for sure, boxing fans are ecstatic to see the lightweight king, Devin Haney, back in action this weekend.
Some big fights are on the horizon for the winner of this undisputed clash, with Lomachenko, ‘Tank’ and Garcia waiting in the wings. But for now, sit back, relax and enjoy Devin Haney vs George Kambosos Jr II, as they embark on the 13th round of their rivalry.
Devin Haney (42-2-1, 41 KOs)
George Kambosos Jr – WIN - UD (118-110, 116-112, 116-112)
Joseph Diaz – WIN – UD (1176-112, 116-112, 115-113)
Yuriorkis Gamboa – WIN – UD (120-107, 120-107, 118-109)
George Kambosos Jr (20-1, 10 KOs)
Devin Haney – LOSS – UD (118-110, 116-112, 116-112)
Teofimo Lopez – WIN – SD (115-112, 115-111, 113-114)
Lee Selby – WIN – SD (118-110, 116-112, 114-115)
Mickey Bey – WIN – SD (97-92, 96-93, 94-95)
Date: October 15th 2022
Time: Approx. 12.30PM Ring Walk (GMT)
Venue: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Promotor: Top Rank
Official Fight Poster - Devin Haney vs George Kambosos II: Repeat or Revenge
Elsewhere on this stellar undercard, both Maloney brothers are in action as Jason Moloney takes on Nawaphon Kaikanha in a bantamweight contest over 12 rounds. Meanwhile, Andrew Maloney faces Norbelto Jiminez in a super-flyweight contest over ten rounds.
Cherneka Johnson and Susie Ramadan throw down for the IBF World Female Super Bantamweight Title, with an all New Zealand clash in the cruiserweight division between the undefeated David Nyika and Titi Motusaga. Also on the card, Hemi Ahio and Faiga Opelu contest over eight rounds, Lorenzo Simpson and Marcus Heywood clash in the middleweight division, meanwhile Adrian Sosa vs John Mannu takes place in the super-lightweight division.