Devin Haney put in a masterful display to beat George Kambosos Jr by unanimous decision and become the undisputed lightweight champion in Melbourne on Sunday.
Haney (28-0, 15 KOs) outboxed the previously undefeated Kambosos Jr (20-1, 10 KOs) throughout the 12 rounds at Marvel Stadium to etch his name in history by becoming the first lightweight to hold all four major belts simultaneously.
Haney, the WBC champion heading into the contest, established his piercing jab from the opening bell and was able to keep Kambosos at bay.
‘The Dream’ managed to silence the partisan crowd as he continued to set the pace and limit Kambosos Jr to brief bursts of success, including a flush right hand which landed in the second round.
Haney, who’s father and lead trainer Bill only arrived in Australia on Saturday after securing a late travel visa, was following the instructions perfectly and built up a healthy lead by the halfway point, making his rival miss frequently.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) June 5, 2022
The 23-year-old’s speed, timing and reflexes coupled with his IQ was causing Kambosos Jr all sorts of problems, who struggled to find the same rhythm and snap in his punches which saw him dethrone Teofimo Lopez in November in a stunning upset win in New York.
Haney kept out of range of Kambosos’ attacks and despite the Australian pressing for a late rally, particularly in the tenth round where he had success to head and body with his left hook, the visitor continued to pick him off and was in truth in little danger, as he displayed his impressive repertoire of skills and superb defence.
Kambosos Jr, who made the 135lbs weight limit at the second attempt at Saturday weigh-in appeared in desperate need of a knockout in the final round, however despite his best efforts, he was forced to continue to circle Haney without landing anything of significance.
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Haney climbed onto the top rope as the fight concluded, jeered by large sections of the 40,000+ crowd.
All three judges scored in favour of Haney, although two scores of 116-112 seemed far too close, whilst a third at 118-110 was much more reflective of how the fight panned out.
Great win ! @Realdevinhaney
— Errol Spence (@ErrolSpenceJr) June 5, 2022
“The game plan was to go in there, hit and not get hit and I did that for the majority of the fight,” Haney said post-fight.
“I took the last round off just because I knew I was comfortably ahead, but I fought a good, smart fight.
“I take my hat off to him because he’s a true warrior.
“Thank you George for giving me the shot. A lot of these so called champions they wouldn’t give me my shot, but George was a true champion and gave me my shot.”
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) June 5, 2022
Kambosos Jr confirmed that he would activate his rematch clause and believes the fight was close.
“I’m going to give him full respect after his victory. Let him have his time.
“We’ll do it again I have to implement a few things, but I thought the fight was very close.”
Future fights with Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis and Ryan Garcia, could await Haney.
Moloney KO’s Palicte
Jason Moloney dispatched of Aston Palicte in three rounds to edge closer to a second world title shot at bantamweight.
Moloney (24-2, 19 KOs) landed a vicious right hand in the third which crumpled Palicte (28-5-1, 23 KOs) to the canvas heavily.
The Filipino bravely rose to his feet, but the home favourite continued the assault, flooring his foe again before the referee waved the fight off.
Moloney could target WBO champion, Paul Butler or the winner of Tuesday’s three-belt unification clash between unified WBA and IBF champion, Naoya Inoue and WBC titlist, Nonito Donaire in Japan.
Browne blasts out Fa
Former WBA heavyweight champion, Lucas Browne (31-3, 27 KOs) reignited his career with a first round knockout over Junior Fa.
A hard right hand floored Fa (19-2, 10 KOs) and left him on shaky legs after he returned to his feet.
𝐁𝐈𝐆 𝐃𝐀𝐃𝐃𝐘 𝐈𝐒 𝐁𝐀𝐂𝐊! 💥
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) June 5, 2022
Browne, 43, swarmed his rival looking for the finish and another brutal right hand dropped the New Zealander again, before the referee dispensed with the count.
Fa suffered back-to-back defeats after losing to Joseph Parker last February.
In the remaining heavyweight contest, Hemi Ahio (19-0, 14 KOs) continued his unbeaten streak forcing Christian Ndzie Tsoye (5-5-2, 4 KOs) to retire on his stool at the end of the opening round.
2020 Olympic Bronze medalist, David Nyika (3-0, 2 KOs) continued his education in the professional ranks going the distance for the first time in his career in a unanimous decision win over Karim Maatalla (2-2, 2 KOs)
At flyweight, Taylah Robertson (5-1, 1 KO) secured a fifth professional win, beating Sarah Higginson (3-1-1, 1 KO) by unanimous decision in their five rounder and Italian welterweight, Yoel Angeloni (1-0) defeated the previously unbeaten, Ken Aitken (3-1, 1 KO) on debut.