By Owen McKendry
George Kambosos Jr (20-0, 10KO) and Devin Haney (27-0, 15KO) are set to meet down under to finally crown the undisputed Lightweight king.
A win for either man puts them at the top of the Lightweight pile holding all the belts, with the loser likely to go straight back in with one of the division’s top contenders.
The Marvel Stadium in Melbourne will play host to one of the biggest fights of the year to date and has caused huge debate within the boxing world in what appears to be a 50-50 fight in the 135lbs division.
Despite Haney holding the coveted WBC belt, Kambosos heads into the fight as the A-side, with a nation's hopes on his shoulder. The much-loved Aussie will cement his legacy as one of Australia’s greatest ever boxers with a victory over potential megastar Devin Haney.
The fight was one of several huge potential clashes within the division containing fighters such as Vasyl Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia, and Gervonta Davis. However, the chance for Kambosos to unify the division in his homeland is an opportunity that simply cannot be turned down.
Kambosos shocked much of the boxing world when the unbeaten and still relatively unknown fighter defeated Teofimo Lopez, who had himself recently shocked many with his win over Lomachenko. Both fights sent the division spiraling into chaos with titles changing hands in consecutive fights and opening up mega fights across the globe.
Kambosos, known as ‘The Emperor', has won all of his last three fights via split decision with the Aussie warrior proving he isn’t shy of going to the trenches. The style of the WBA (super), IBF, WBO, and the Ring Lightweight champion almost always guarantees a firefight-style performance, leaving fans eager to see how Haney deals with this.
A win over Haney cements Kambosos legacy deep into the history of Australian boxing and will see him sitting at the table with the likes of Kostya Tszyu and Jeff French. Having wins over Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney as well as an extremely underrated victory over a tough Lee Selby, will only increase Kambosos’s stock and likely allow for more big fights down under.
Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney has the chance to do exactly what his nickname states and live the dream of crowning himself the Undisputed Lightweight champion of the world. The young American is only 23 years of age – a baby in boxing terms, and is looking for some major names to add to his cv.
The tricky fighter is 27 fights undefeated but still has to deal with fans and pundits alike who pick apart his perfect résumé due to the calibre of fighters faced to date. Although Kambosos is arguably a big step up in competition, it is the perfect occasion to silence doubters and prove to them he belongs with the best.
Wins over Jorge Linares and JoJo Diaz have propelled Haney to the top of the division and earned him the undisputed fight. With controversy over how Haney was awarded the belt, a win over Kambosos would silence every doubter and the ‘paper champion’ comments simply thrown in the bin.
The 23-year-old WBC champion is a slick operator within the squared circle and will likely prove a formidable foe for Kambosos. The box and move style is certain to give Kambosos trouble, and Haney will be hoping to walk away with all the belts.
With Haney agreeing to make the long journey to Australia, massive credit must be given to the unbeaten American for taking the risk of defending the famed green belt, that every fighter chases, away from home. With controversial decisions constantly on the rise in boxing, it’s an extremely brave choice from Haney that deserves respect. Headlining a fight of this magnitude in Australia also deserves huge respect, especially for Kambosos who wrestled the fight away from America where many may have expected it to land.
Saturday night's card is stacked with great fighters and some very close fights, however, the main event is set to bring the fireworks fight fans are looking for. With Melbourne entering its winter season, George Kambosos and Devin Haney will be bringing the heat to fight fans around the globe.
Teófimo López – Win – Split Decision (115-113, 115-112 Kambosos, 114-113 López)
Lee Selby – Win – Split Decision (118-110, 116-112 Kambosos, 115-114 Selby)
Mickey Bey – Win – Split Decision ( 97-92, 96-93 Kambosos, 95-94 Bey)
Richard Pena – Win – TKO Round 6
Joseph Diaz – Win – Unanimous Decision (117-111, 117-111, 116-112)
Jorge Linares – Win – Unanimous Decision (116-112, 116-112, 115-113)
Yuriorkis Gamboa – Win – Unanimous Decision (118-109, 120-107, 120-107)
Alfredo Santiago – Win – Unanimous Decision (120-107, 120-107, 120-107)
Date: June 4th 2022 (June 5th in Australia)
Time: Main event ring walk approx. 04:00 (GMT)
Venue: Marvel Stadium, Melbourne, Australia
Promoter: Top Rank
Watch: Sky Sports (UK) | Foxtel PPV (Aus) | ESPN (USA)