Devin Haney became undisputed lightweight champion on Sunday with a unanimous-decision win against George Kambosos Jr, putting on a clinic to beat the Australian in hostile territory in Melbourne. Both fighters entered the main-event contest with belts on their shoulders and unbeaten records to boot, but it was Haney who left Marvel Stadium with all the gold, adding Kambosos Jr’s WBA, WBO and IBF titles to his WBC strap.
American Haney, 23, produced a near-shutout performance to dethrone Kambosos Jr and hand the 28-year-old the first defeat of his professional career, with the judges’ scorecards somewhat kind to the Australian in reading 116-112, 116-112, 118-110. From the opening bell Haney fought from behind his jab, timing his shots well and disrupting the rhythm of Kambosos Jr as the home fighter looked to counter-punch. Haney stayed disciplined and consistent throughout the bout, while Kambosos Jr became increasingly frustrated as he began to sport bruises and miss with lunging hooks.
Bad blood seemed be boiling in the lead-up to the fight, but rather than spilling it over it simply evaporated after the decision was announced, with both lightweights paying one another respect. “I take my hat off to him, because he’s a true warrior,” Haney said. “Even though he got disrespectful, I stayed a gentleman and I stayed respectful. I want to thank George Kambosos and all of Australia for coming out.”
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