Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
ABC News
ABC News

George Kambosos Jr beaten by Devin Haney as American fighter unifies the lightweight championship with unanimous decision

Devin Haney is the undisputed lightweight champion of the world. (Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

American Devin Haney has stunned George Kambosos, outpointing the Australian fighter in Melbourne to become the undisputed world lightweight boxing champion.

In front of a huge crowd at Docklands stadium, the 23-year-old Haney won a unanimous points decision to end the Australian's dreams of unifying all four main belts.

The judges scored the fight 116-112, 116-112, 118-110, all in favour of the American.

"He just boxed his game," Kambosos said.

Kambosos, who celebrated after the final bell with the resigned optimism of a man who knew he had been bettered, said he thought the fight was "very close" but, in reality, Haney was comfortably the better man.

"I fought a good smart fight," Haney said.

"I was comfortable … The game plan was to hit and not get hit."

The much-awaited unification bout between George Kambosos and Devin Haney is underway in Melbourne. (Getty Images: Quinn Rooney)

As far as game plans go, it was a sound strategy and Haney played it to perfection.

The American was as elusive as smoke, torturing Kambosos with a flicking jab that served the dual purpose of scoring regularly and keeping Australian at bay.

Tentative early, both men fell into an edgy style akin to high-stakes chess, neither willing to overcommit or else risk feeling the other's power.

Kambosos was backed vociferously by an enormous crowd at Docklands, many waving Greek flags, although Haney's accuracy and Kambosos's tentativeness failed to really spark them into the kind of uproar that greeted the fighters to the ring.

Every time Kambosos moved in to land an occasional left hook to the body, Haney whipped the left hand out and moved away, leaving the defending unified champion grasping at fresh air.

Devin Haney's jab was too much for George Kambosos Jr. (Getty Images: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc)

When the Australian was able to land, Haney nullified his effectiveness by ducking and hanging on.

"He grabbed and held on and did what he had to win," Kambosos said.

"Today, they gave him the decision."

The defeat is Kambosos' first in 21 fights, while Haney takes his record to a perfect 28 wins from 28 fights.

Kambosos said he would trigger a rematch clause for later in the year, but with Haney confident enough to agree to an Australian rematch in the first place, it appears a tall order for Kambosos to change enough to win his titles back.

Haney praised Kambosos as a warrior who gave him his shot at the titles, when "lot of these so called champions wouldn't".

On the evidence of Sunday afternoon, there's little wonder why.

"I take the risk," Kambosos said.

"I fight the best of the best. At the end of the day, I didn't have to fight him.

"F*** the records, this is what it's all about."

On the undercard, Jason Moloney beat Aston Palicte in their bantamweight clash to put himself in position to challenge for a world title.

Lucas Browne also secured a stunning first round knockout win over Junior Fa in their heavyweight clash.

Look back on how all the action unfolded in our round-by-round blog.

Key events

Live updates

By Simon Smale


Devin Haney, undisputed lightweight champion

Well, today was not George Kambosos' day.

Devin Haney was so elusive, so fast and so accurate. As both men said, the American came with a game plan and executed it to perfection.

Jeff Fenech is bemoaning the fact that Kambosos was not given enough of a gee up in his corner and there was a lack of urgency.

That was true, but in reality, Haney was just better on the day.

It shouldn't have been a surprise either - this is how Haney boxes. It's not aesthetically pleasing, but it's effective and dangerous. There's a reason that none of the other lightweights wanted to fight him.

The positive side for the division is that now they'll have to.

Was Kambosos at his best? It doesn't matter, because Haney was better and that's the only thing that counts, for now.

There is a rematch clause, there will be another fight and, perhaps, Kambosos will be able to analyse what happened and see if he can cause the undisputed champion any issues.

Audience comment by Sir Wally Wombat

A very good round by round blog, so much so that we were able to work out the outcome without the round by round scores..a good job!!

Audience comment by Sluggo

Great Blog Simo, felt like I was ring side. Disappointing but correct outcome.. sometimes a loss builds a better boxer.

Audience comment by Sir Wally Wombat

Yes a Haney 180cm reach vs a Kambosos 173cm reach means that Haney could both (punch) score and keep Kambosos away, so Kambosos needed to get under him at every opportunity!

Audience comment by Han

Another brilliant call Simon- very exciting and a testament to top notch boxing. Very grateful to have followed along and congratulations to both boxers, especially young Haney and his dancing mate.

Audience comment by Josh

Awesome blog as always Mr Smale. 👏

Audience comment by Yikes

Haney is the real deal.

By Simon Smale

'I wanted to take the best test': Kambosos

Here's George Kambosos.

"This is amazing for the sport," he says.

"At the end of the say, I wanted to take the best test, the hardest test.

"I'm gunna give him full respect ... it's his day.

"Let's do it again."

There is a rematch cause for another fight in Melbourne, and Kambosos will undoubtedly take that option.

He says he thinks the fight was "very close".

"He just boxed his game. He moved, he boxed.

"He didn't really want to come and fight too much, but that's his game.

"I'm gunna change a few things and get him back at the end of this year."

Kambosos says that he was the only champion willing to take the risk of fighting Haney.

"I take the risk, i fight the best of the best. at the end of the day, I didn't have to fight him.

"He grabbed and held on and did what he had to win.

"Today they gave him the decision.

"You fight the best, win lose or draw, that what its all about.

"F*** the records, this is what it's all about."

By Simon Smale

'The game plan was to hit and not get hit.': Haney

Here's the new champion

Devin Haney dedicates his victory to Allah.

"I was comfortable, just sticking to the game plan," he says.

"The game plan was to hit and not get hit.

"I fought a good smart fight

"I handicapped him of his best things. He couldn't hit me with either of his best shots."

Haney did offer some respect to Kambosos too.

"I take my hat off to him, he's a true warrior. Even though he got disrespectful, I stayed a gentleman," he says.

"A lot of these so called champions wouldn't give me my shot, but George has,"

He adds that having his father next to him after all his visa trouble was a real blessing.

"This is a dream come true. I was going through it without my dad here because I knew this was a big moment. I was so thankful that he was able to come."

By Simon Smale

With a supposed 180cm reach is it any wonder that Haney's fight style was all about jabs!!

-Sir Wally Wombat

Exactly, makes you wonder why Kambosos didn't change styles a little earlier. 

It might just be that Haney was just too elusive.

Kambosos simply couldn't get close to him and that jab did the damage in terms of the scores.

By Simon Smale

Key Event

Devin Haney wins the undisputed lightweight title

The judges had it 116-112, 116-112, 118-110.

It's hard to argue with them.

There's a little bit of push and shove in the ring between the two camps, it looks like Haney's trainer is pushing at Kambosos.

Devin Haney is the youngest undisputed boxing champion in the four belt era.

By Simon Smale

George Kambosos vs Devin Haney, the verdict

Both men stand on the ropes, but only one of them, the American, will be standing there with much conviction.

I had it 117-111 in favour of Haney.

Some of the early rounds were very tight, so it will be interesting to see which way the judges went on that, but for me, that was a masterclass from Devin Haney.

There's a million people in the ring while we wait for the scorecards.

By Simon Smale

Kambosos vs Haney, Round 12

Last round, Kambosos needs a knockout.

Kambosos is in the centre of the ring.

Haney lands with a left hook around the guard.

Haney lands with another left. 

Kambosos throws himself off balance in trying to throw a hail Mary left.

Haney with a right, and then moves away.

The pair clash in the middle but nothing lands.

Kambosos needs to land something, anything. It's not from a lack of trying, but Haney is like smoke. Can't be touched.

Haney crabs forward down low, Kambosos lands though!

Haney looked for the time! There's still 45 seconds!

Haney runs and then they grapple.

Haney lands on the inside as Kambosos goes high.

Haney lands with a solid shot that sends Kambosos back.

That's it, it's all over.

Audience comment by Jabba

Never thought I’d say it but I’m over the jabs.

Audience comment by Mick the Mauler

Finish him George. One two. Straight left to the solar plexus follow up with a big overhead right. Go man...

By Simon Smale

Kambosos vs Haney, Round 11

Kambosos gets into the centre ring once more, but there's seemingly no way that he can land enough onto Haney make trouble him.

Kambosos lands with a shot to the body with the left and then misses with the right, just.

Haney ducks into a right from Kambosos, a good shot.

The left jab from Haney is everpresent though, torturing Kambosos.

Kambosos misses with a jab, Haney doesn't.

Kambosos is getting frustrated, this has been a masterclass of boxing from Haney.

Kambosos charges forward, he won't die trying, but he does get caught twice by some more accurate work from Haney.

Hanely lands to the chin of Kambosos, a great shot, a masterpiece of elusive boxing.

Haney lands a couple of jabs to the belly, the bell goes and Haney sticks the tongue out again.

He know's he's in change here.

By Simon Smale

Every chance this is 9-0 Haney, unfortunately


I have it 7-3 at the moment (97-93).

I think Kambosos needs a knockout.

By Simon Smale

By Simon Smale

Kambosos vs Haney, Round 10

Kambosos flies out of the corner.

I think he need something special.

Kambosos misses with a righty over the top as Haney ducks away once more.

Haney with the jab, a scoring shot.

Kambosos goes to the body but is caught by Haney.

Haney lands with the jab, Kambosos misses and then suddenly Haney is somewhere else, so elusive.

Haney jabs twice but Kambosos fights back and gets a body shot to land.

Overhand right from Kambosos lands on the shoulder but Kambosos gets caught on the way out as well.

Kambosos with an overhand right, Haney hangs on so Kambosos keeps hitting him as they spin around!

A bit of desperation from Kambosos there do we think?

Kambosos lands to the body, Haney responds with a jab as Kambosos tries to follow up.

Both men miss with jabs,

Kambosos is the aggressor and lands solidly to the body.

The crowd get up and Haney starts to jaw at Kambosos as the bell goes.

Audience comment by Joanne

Wish I could watch this live Thanks bloggers for the updates xx

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.