Kambosos Jr vs Haney: Australia gets set for its biggest fight ever

Australia gets set for the biggest fight in its history as Devin Haney and George Kambosos Jr collide in an undisputed lightweight showdown… Haney can prove he’s the real deal with victory, but ‘Ferocious’ vows to destroy the American

  • George Kambosos Jr and Devin Haney square off next weekend in Australia
  • The unbeaten pair are fighting for the title of undisputed lightweight champion 
  • Kambosos Jr comes into the bout on the back of beating Teofimo Lopez last year
  • Haney, 23, can become the youngest undisputed champion in the four-belt era
  • He will have to do so without his father and trainer, Bill Haney, however 

Sharing a combined 47 wins, 25 knockouts, no defeats and all four lightweight world titles, George Kambosos Jr and Devin Haney collide next weekend in an historic undisputed clash that will shape the 135lb division. 

They do so Down Under, in Australia, which gets set for its biggest fight since Manny Pacquaio vs Jeff Horn in 2017, perhaps the biggest fight in its history, with over 50,000 fans cramming into the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. 

The fight arrives on their fight-hungry shores after Aussie Kambosos Jr sent shockwaves around the boxing world last November by defeating Teofimo Lopez, in New York, in one of the upsets of the year. 

George Kambosos Jr returns to Australia after becoming the unified lightweight champion 

He takes on WBC champion Devin Haney in an historic undisputed fight which will shape the division

Kambosos Jr came into that fight as the overwhelming underdog, with Lopez – who had the year prior claimed a stunning win over Vasyl Lomachenko – insisting he would get the job done within the first three-minute stanza. 

That proved not to be the case, however, as it was he who found himself on the deck in round one. And though scoring a knockdown of his own in round 10, he was the deserved loser of the split-decision result – however much he protested otherwise in the immediate aftermath. 

‘I come to every country and I take them out, one-by-one,’  Kambosos proudly stated upon his famous win – one he insisted cemented his place as the best Australian fighter in history.  

Star names Lomachenko, Haney, Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia and Shakur Stevenson all immediately signalled their interest in a match-up against Kambosos Jr, but, this time, the Aussie insisted that the show would not be taken on the road. 

Some six months later and we are now only days away from the Melbourne match-up, with just a ninth undisputed champion in the four-belt era set to be crowned. Kambosos Jr brings his WBA, WBO and IBF titles into the bout, while Haney puts his WBC strap on line. 

Of course, it was Lomachenko who was initially the favourite to take on Kambosos Jr in the Australian’s first defence of his newly-claimed jewels, before the Ukrainian was forced to remove himself from the running, returning to his homeland to fight against Vladimir Putin’s forces amid the ongoing Russian invasion. 

Kambosos Jr shocked the world last November with a famous victory over Teofimo Lopez 

Lopez insisted he won the fight in the immediate aftermath but the marks on his face said otherwise

Vasyl Lomachenko was set to fight Kambosos Jr but he was forced to give up the opportunity, as he returned to Ukraine to help fight against the Russian invasion

Kambosos Jr showed incredible fortitude of his own prior to his win over Lopez, having lost his grandfather just two months before the clash. 

He didn’t even take a day off on the day his grandfather, George Sr, died – remarkably the same day as his partner Bec Pereira gave birth to their third child.

The 28-year-old – who says he knew Lopez couldn’t break him after going through such hardship – now insists he’s physically and mentally in a much better place going into the biggest fight of his career. 

‘I’m 100 times a better fighter,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald. ‘Physically bigger, stronger, more explosive. What I did after the Lopez fight, I sat down with my team and said, “How do I get better?”

‘So we started lifting heavier, we started doing more explosive work, we started boxing different angles, fighting southpaw, orthodox, doing all these things to get better and better.

‘I’ve been entrenched in creating my legacy; training and fighting the best of the best, beating the best of the best.’

While Kambosos Jr is now in a better head space, it’s Haney who will have the demons to overcome, with his father – who is also his trainer – unable to travel with him to Australia. 

Kambosos Jr, 28, insist she’s ‘100 times better’ now than he was in his fight against Lopez

Haney will have to fight without his trainer and father Bill, who hasn’t been allowed into Australia due to a previous conviction

His father, Bill, was blocked from entering the country because of a 30-year-old drug conviction, with Haney now to be cornered by Yoel Judah – the father of former two-weight world champion Zab Judah. 

That’s not all Haney is conceding going into the fight, however. He’s also had to move away from Eddie Hearn and Matchroom – who he partnered with for his last six outings – to secure the bout, instead singing a three-fight deal with Top Rank and Lou DiBella. 

Haney – who, similarly to Kambosos Jr, has a mantra of ‘anybody, anytime, anywhere’ –  has also taken less than favourable split and, while his opponent would be free to fight anyone next should he win, the American has agreed for the contractually-obliged rematch to be staged once again in Australia should it be he who emerges victorious. 

‘I pretty much just agreed to everything that they wanted, no matter what that was,’ he told Fight Hype. ‘We didn’t get anything our way but we didn’t do any arguing.  

‘Whatever we’ve got to do to make the fight happen, if I’ve got to go over there on another network with another promoter to make that fight happen, so be it. It didn’t matter, I just wanted the belts, I just wanted my name to be in the history books forever.’ 

Haney would become the youngest undisputed champion in the four-belt era with victory over Kambosos Jr

And that would certainly be the case should Haney, 23, win next weekend; he would become the youngest undisputed champion in the four-belt era should that happen. 

Haney, who insists ‘my dad can’t fight for me’, stating his absence will have no impact, is unbeaten in 27 outings, most recently claiming impressive wins over Jorge Linares and Joseph Diaz. 

Yet, even with a highly impressive resume by such a young age, there are still many who insist the youngster from San Francisco, California, has to prove himself – which is exactly what he intends to do on fight night. 

‘This is a huge opportunity for me, you know, just to become the youngest undisputed champion,’ he told Fox Sport. ‘This is bragging rights.

‘The world has said so much, the boxing world has said so many things, all this and that. This is finally my time to prove the doubters wrong and show my fans that I am the real deal.’

He added: ‘It is my time to prove that I am the best of the bunch and nobody put me into place. I earned it, just like I will earn these belts.

‘At the end of the day, this is a fight for the history books, the youngest undisputed champion. My kids will remember this moment, my family will forever have that.’

Haney (27-0) last claimed a highly impressive points win over Joseph Diaz in December 2021

The American, 23, also secured a points win over Jorge Linares just seven months prior

Haney, though stopping short of revealing his game plan, insists there are ‘many ways’ he can beat Kambosos Jr, and ‘many holes’ he can exploit. 

But Kambosos Jr, who insists sparring over 250 rounds with the legendary Manny Pacquiao – the 43-year-old will be in attendance on fight night – has made him the fighter he is today, believes otherwise. 

The Aussie has banned himself from having sex throughout the build-up to the bout, stating it will give him the extra 0.1 per cent that will get him the win. He also now claims he’s in the best shape of his life, having put everything into this camp. 

Kambosos Jr even tried to help Haney get his father into the country, insisting he wants no excuses come the final bell.  

‘I know there will be a whole lot of excuses once I destroy Devin Haney,’ he told the Sydney Morning Herald. 

‘About the father, about the trainer, about the jet lag, about everything. I’ve been trying my best to see if he can get in, but, unfortunately, that’s not my problem. I’ve got all of my team here, and I’m ready to fight.’

Whatever the result may be, the talk of ‘what next’ will undoubtedly swiftly follow. While, of course, that ‘what next’ could be an immediate rematch, the likes of Davis, Lomachenko, Stevenson and Garcia will no doubt have plenty to say. 

But for now, for both fighters, it’s time to take it all in as they partake in one of the biggest fights of the year, the biggest fight in Australian history and a fight that will determine the future of the 135lb division. 

Gervonta Davis will be keeping a keen eye on the fight after stopping Rolando Romero on Saturday

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