Fans, Fighters, Pundits Outraged Over Kambosos – Hughes “Robbery”

07/24/2023 - By James Slater - Comments

Another month, another boxing “robbery” – or at least another hugely controversial decision. Last night’s majority decision win picked up by former lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr over Maxi Hughes, has served to anger a number of people – fans, pundits, and fellow fighters.

Kambosos, who returned to the win column after dropping back-to-back decisions to current 135-pound boss Devin Haney, was awarded a win via crazy scores of 117-111, 115-113, and 114-114. It was the 117-111 tally that served to outrage fans.

Kambosos, now 21-2(10) was cut in the fight, as was Hughes, who is now 29-4-1(26). Kambosos’ cut right eye came from a punch, while Hughes suffered a cut above his left eye from a head clash.

Both men felt they had done enough to have won at the end, yet most people really do feel “away” fighter Hughes (Hughes being from the UK, Kambosos from Australia, so both guys were “away” fighters last night in Shawnee, Oklahoma) was very hard done by.

Kambosos says he “won the fight by many rounds,” while Hughes says he is “devastated” by the loss, the underdog going in adamant he won the lion’s share of the 12 rounds. In an ideal world, a fair world, Kambosos would grant Hughes an immediate rematch. We will wait and see if this happens or if it doesn’t.

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What is known is the fact that Hughes fought very well last night, his clever boxing and his aggression serving him well. Kambosos did not look great at all, and the question has to be asked: has Kambosos peaked as a fighter, this in his big win over Teofimo Lopez in November of 2021?

Kambosos may well have struggled due to Hughes being a southpaw. And, for however much stock you care to put in punch stats, Hughes landed more than Kambosos, at 98 punches scored to 90.

Maybe robbery is too strong a word for what went down last night, but plenty of people are using that kind of language, Shakur Stevenson, who was ringside included.

Kambosos is having none of it. However, the 30-year-old said, “A couple of good rounds don’t win you the fight.” But in all honesty, Kambosos has to admit that Hughes won a lot more than “a couple of rounds.”

“Tonight, I came and I showed that I should have had my hand raised. I’m absolutely devastated,” Hughes said. “I used my footwork. I made him miss and pay. I landed the cleaner shots.”

That’s the way this writer saw it, but the scoring of the three guys sat at ringside is all that counts, unfortunately for 33-year-old Maxi Hughes.

Last night’s fight was an IBF lightweight eliminator, and it’s unclear if Hughes will get another big opportunity this late into his career if Kambosos does not grant him a rematch. Hughes was on a roll going into last night’s fight, with him having beaten Ryan Walsh and Kid Galahad in his prior two outings.