George Kambosos Jr vows to destroy Devin Haney in undisputed clash with both out to make history
Together 47 wins, 25 knockouts, no defeats and all four lightweight world titles, George Kambosos Jr and Devin Haney will share this weekend in a historic undisputed clash that will form the 135lb division.
They do so Down Under, in Australia, which is preparing for the biggest fight since Manny Pacquaio vs Jeff Horn in 2017, arguably the biggest fight in its history, with more than 50,000 fans crammed into the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.
The fight arrives on their combative shores after Aussie Kambosos Jr sent shockwaves through the boxing world last November by beating Teofimo Lopez in New York in one of the troubles of the year.
George Kambosos Jr returns to Australia after becoming the unified lightweight champion
He takes on WBC champion Devin Haney in a historic undisputed fight that will shape the division
Kambosos Jr came into that fight as the overwhelming underdog, with Lopez — who had taken a stunning win over Vasyl Lomachenko the year before — insisting he get the job done within the first three-minute stanza.
That turned out not to be the case, however, as it was he who found himself on deck on the first lap. And although he himself scored a knockdown in round 10, he was the deserved loser of the split decision result – as much as he protested in the immediate aftermath.
“I come to every country and I take them out one by one,” Kambosos declared proudly after his famous win – a win that 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 indicated they were interested in a game against Kambosos Jr, but this time the Aussie insisted the show not take place on the road.
Some six months later and we are now just days away from the Melbourne race, with just a ninth undisputed champion in the era of the four belts on the cusp of being crowned. Kambosos Jr brings his WBA, WBO and IBF titles into the fight, while Haney puts his WBC belt online.
Of course, it was Lomachenko who was initially the favorite to take on Kambosos Jr in the Australian’s first defense of his newly claimed jewels, before the Ukrainian was forced to pull himself out of the running and return to his homeland to fight. fighting Vladimir Putin’s forces amid the ongoing Russian invasion.
Kambosos Jr shocked the world last November with a famous win over Teofimo Lopez
Lopez insisted he won the fight in the immediate aftermath, but the marks on his face said otherwise
Vasyl Lomachenko was supposed to fight Kambosos Jr, but he had to give up the chance when he returned to Ukraine to help fight against the Russian invasion
Kambosos Jr showed incredible strength of his own ahead of his win over Lopez, having lost his grandfather just two months before the game.
He didn’t even take a day off the day his grandfather, George Sr, died – remarkably, the same day his partner Bec Pereira gave birth to their third child.
The 28-year-old – who says he knew Lopez couldn’t break him after so much hardship – now insists he is in a much better place physically and mentally to take on 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 fight with Lopez, 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 from different angles, fighting left-handers, orthodox, and doing all these things to get better and better.
‘I am anchored in creating my legacy; train and fight the best of the best, beat the best of the best.’
Although Kambosos Jr is now in better headroom, it is Haney who will have to overcome the demons, while his father – who is also his trainer – is unable to travel to Australia with him.
Kambosos Jr, 28, insists she’s now ‘100 times better’ than he was in his fight against Lopez
Haney will have to do without his trainer and father Bill, who was not allowed to enter Australia due to a previous conviction
His father, Bill, was banned from entering the country due to a 30-year drug conviction, and Haney is now cornered by Yoel Judah – the father of former twoweight world champion Zab Judah.
However, that’s not all Haney admits to going into battle. He also had to distance himself from Eddie Hearn and Matchroom—whom he teamed up with for his last six outings—to secure the match, instead singing a three-fight deal with Top Rank and Lou DiBella.
Haney – who, like Kambosos Jr, has a mantra of “everyone, anytime, anywhere” – has also taken a less favorable split and while his opponent would be free to fight anyone next time if he won, the American agreed to the contractually required rematch to be held again in Australia if he emerges as the winner.
“I basically just agreed to whatever they wanted, whatever that was,” he said Fight hype† “We didn’t get our way, but we didn’t argue.
Whatever we have to do to make the fight happen, if I have to go on another network there 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 win over Kambosos Jr. become the youngest undisputed champion in the four-band era
And it certainly would if Haney, 23, won next weekend; he would become the youngest undisputed champion in the four-belt era if that happened.
Haney, who insists ‘my father can’t fight for me’ and says his absence will have no impact, is undefeated in 27 games, most recently taking impressive victories over Jorge Linares and Joseph Diaz.
But even with a very impressive resume at such a young age, there are still many who insist that the San Francisco, California-based youngster needs to prove himself — which is exactly what he plans to do on Fight night.
“This is a huge opportunity for me, you know, to become the youngest undisputed champion,” he told Fox Sport. “This is bragging.
“The world has said so much, the boxing world has said so many things, 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’s my time to prove I’m the best of the bunch and no one has put me in my place. I have earned it, just as I will earn these belts.
“In the end, this is a battle for the history books, the youngest undisputed champion. My children will remember this moment, my family will remember it forever.”
Haney (27-0) last took a very impressive win over Joseph Diaz in December 2021
The American, 23, also took a win over Jorge Linares just seven months earlier
Haney, though he’s stopped divulging his game plan, insists there are “many ways” he can beat Kambosos Jr, and “many holes” he can exploit.
But Kambosos Jr, who insists on sparring for more than 250 rounds with the legendary Manny Pacquiao – the 43-year-old will be attending Fight Night – has made him the fighter he is today, believe otherwise.
The Aussie has banned himself from having sex in the run-up to the match, saying it will give him the extra 0.1 percent that will get him the win. He also now claims that he is in the best shape of his life because he has put everything into this camp.
Kambosos Jr even tried to help Haney get his father into the country, insisting that he didn’t want any excuses for the last bell.
“I know there will be a 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 tried my best to see if he can get in, but unfortunately that’s not my problem. I’ve got my whole team here and I’m ready to fight.”
Whatever the outcome, the talk of ‘what next’ will no doubt soon follow. While that ‘what now’ could of course be an instant rematch, players like Davis, Lomachenko, Stevenson and Garcia will undoubtedly have plenty to say.
But for now, for both fighters, it’s time to take it all in as they take part in one of the biggest fights of the year, the biggest fight in Australian history and a fight that will shape the future of the 135lb division. will determine.
Gervonta Davis will keep a close eye on the fight after Rolando Romero’s stoppage on Saturday