WBC lightweight champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney (28-0, 15 KOs) looked levels above undefeated unified champion George Kambosos (20-1, 10 KOs) in winning a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision to achieve his vision of becoming the undisputed 135-lb champion on Saturday night at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
The scores were:
Kambosos, 28, never seemed to get on track, as he was bottled up on the outside, eating jabs from Haney and not showing any ability to get in punching range.
Kambosos’ short arms made it difficult for him to land when Haney was on the outside. When Kambosos would attack, Haney was too agile and would move like a matador to avoid the rushes.
Kambosos needs to decide whether he wants to activate the rematch clause to force a second fight with Haney because, from the way he looked tonight, he’s not going to win the rematch.
What’s worse is the Australian fans might not be interested in paying to see a second fight involving Kambosos after this disappointing effort from him.
Bantamweight Jason Moloney (24-2, 19 KOs) defeated Aston Palicte (28-5-1, 23 KOs) by a third-round knockout to win the WBO Silver 118-lb strap.
Moloney, 31, knocked Palicet down two times in the third round to get the stoppage at 2:35 of the round. It was a good performance by Moloney, winning his third straight fight.
Heavyweight Lucas “Big Daddy” Browne (31-3, 27 KOs) looked powerful tonight in knocking out Junior Fa (19-2, 10 KOs) in the first round in an upset victory.
The 43-year-old former WBA heavyweight champion Browne hurt Fa with a crushing right hand to put him down. Moments later, Browne dropped the 32-year-old Fa for a second time in the round. At that point, the bout was halted. The time of the stoppage was at 1:15.
In Fa’s previous fight, he had given former WBO champion Joseph Parker a tough fight in February of last year.
“George Kambosos was at the Manny Pacquiao – Jeff Horn fight five years ago, and Kambosos told his father that one day this would be him, that he would have a moment like that,” said Max Kellerman on ESPN about a conversation Kambosos had with his dad five years ago in July 2017, predicting that he would be fighting in front of a massive crowd at some point in his career.
“He told his dad, ‘This is going to be me. Don’t tell anyone because they’re going to think we’re absolutely crazy. I am divineness, I have manifested this,'” said Mark Kriegel.
“Lo and behold, they were walking around Marvel Stadium the other day, and they’re expecting between 40 and 50,000. He said, ‘I put the fans here, I’m the emperor. I’m a gladiator, I’m the Spartan warrior, and I’m going to fill up this stadium.’
“So, he takes this Spartan warrior business very, very seriously. I can’t tell this week if he’s psyching himself up or trying to psych out Devin Haney, who until his father was joining him, seemed like a kid a long way from home.
“George Kambosos really started laying into Devin about, ‘You’re a snitch, you’re a rat. You called me with all sorts of intelligence before the Teofimo fight.’
“Listen, Devin Haney wanted Kambosos and pushed Teofimo aside. There’s nothing wrong with that, but turning on Devin like that, calling him a snitch & a rat. When you call a guy that, you’re really trying to elicit a reaction.
“I really had to wonder about Devin until today, but his temperature has remained the same throughout. From when I meant him last month in Las Vegas until the fighters meeting today. He’s been even keel,” said Kriegel.
Haney willing to fight Kambosos in his backyard
“Devin Haney’s responsibility, by the way, is to himself and to his own career to even call himself a champion,” said Kellerman. “But something in Devin Haney understands that you’re not the champion until you beat the man.
“That’s why he wanted this shot [against Kambosos]. There are other ways to make money, but he wanted a shot against the very best. He was the mandatory that was ducked in his view.
“He [Haney] has a belt that’s a paper champion. He wants to be a real one, and he’s gotten himself in this position. He was willing to go down under to fight in the other guy’s [Kambosos] hometown, where you got to figure that he’s got to win seven or eight rounds if it goes the distance in order to win the title.
“Has he talked about that at all about the expectations of what performance needs to rise to take the belt from the champion down under?” said Kellerman.
“He told me last month and he’s remained consistent that he can pitch a shutout,” said Kriegel about Haney. “He says he’s not worried about the judges.
“One of his important tasks that his father, Bill, has been pushing the whole way through is the selection of the judges. Bill Haney has been relentless in the backroom politicking which you really need.
“That’s what your manager is there for to protect you with the judges. I know they rejected a judge, who has Greek heritage. There’s nothing wrong with anyone with Greek heritage. He just didn’t want any perspective bias rising up.
“They disallowed, they rejected a judge, they didn’t like his score in the Teofimo fight. So they’ve really been on the subject of judges, but as far as Devin, he says, ‘There’s no way the judges will beat me here.’
“We’ve seen it in the past, but he remains optimistic about the concessions that were made. The big one that Devin has granted was if ‘I were to win.’ In other words, if Devin were to win, there’s an automatic rematch clause back here in Australia.
“Devin told me a couple of weeks ago, ‘I don’t care about that. If I can beat him once, I can beat him twice. I don’t care where it is.'”
George willing to risk all
“The other thing, as far as Kambosos is concerned, we’re accustomed now, and it’s unfortunate, is champions of getting a belt or getting a couple of belts, and then taking a victory lap,” said Kriegel.
“His first choice was Lomachenko, and his second choice, because Lomachenko was unavailable, is Devin Haney. That’s a pretty confident guy to me,” said Kriegel.
“The reason I love this fight is that I love both of these guys’ mentality as fighters,” said Kellerman about Kambosos and Haney. “The champion Kambosos coming off a win over Teofimo fights the #1 guy, who hasn’t got his chance at the top, Devin Haney.
“The #1 guy, who is undefeated, is willing to go to the champion’s backyard and is willing to sign the rematch to go back there in the event of a win, these two guys are temperaments, as Teddy Atlas would say, of real fighters.
“These are the best kinds of fights that can be made. Mark, you spent time with both of them in the weeks leading up to the fight, is there anything else that you’d like to say, as far as spending time with them, the impressions that we should know heading into Saturday night?” said Kellerman.
“One of the things that struck me was the confidence of Kambosos,” said Kriegel. “It’s a rare guy, I find, that really wants his young children to be ringside. Kambosos wants them to be here for history.
“That sounds kind of grandiose, but you need that type of ego. You need that type of ego to be a real champion. On the other hand, I’ve seen Devin seem unaffected through some pretty intense provocations.
“Again, being called a snitch and “rat.” None of it seems to have gotten to him. Today, at the fighter’s meetings, he [Haney] had to wake up from a nap, which shows you how calm he is and now you add his dad getting here. I think he’s in a pretty good place,” said Kriegel about Haney.
“Rocky Marciano used to take a nap before the fight, and it would unnerve his opponents,” said Kellerman.
“You’re not supposed to be able to nap before the nerves are going, but it tells you about the kind of confidence about the fighter, especially about the belief of their preparation,” said Kellerman.
Devin Haney and four-belt lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr meet tonight for the undisputed championship in Melbourne, Australia in front of what could be 50,000+ fans at Marvel Stadium.
Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) has poured a lot of energy into trying to undermine Haney’s confidence by playing the ‘Art of War’ with him. Tonight, we’ll find out if his mind games worked.