American Devin Haney kept his unbeaten record intact on Sunday by beating Australia’s George Kambosos with his thundering right hand in a rematch to remain the undisputed world lightweight champion.
The highly rated 23-year-old successfully defended his WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO belts at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena in a unanimous decision, with one judge scoring the fight 119-109 in his favor and the other two both of them won 118-110.
Haney now wants to fight either two-time Olympic champion Vasiliy Lomachenko or Shakur Stevenson.
“We take on all newcomers. No matter who it is, we want to fight against the best fighters in the world. I think I’m the best fighter in the world,” Haney later told reporters.
The American is only the eighth boxer to hold all four belts from the major sanctioning bodies – WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO – at the same time.
He beat Kambosos unanimously in June to complete the feat of becoming the first undisputed lightweight champion since Pernell Whitaker in 1990 and the first in the four-belt era that began in 2004.
He again used his sensational speed, instinct and relentless left jab, but this time he also used big right-hand punches that left the Aussie bloody.
“I knew he would be looking for the jab so I wanted to show other tools in my arsenal,” said the San Francisco-born fighter after beating Kambosos, who did well to still be there after 12 rounds .
“My dad (coach Bill Haney) wanted me to hook more, but I feel like the right hand won the battle.
“He’s a warrior, I take my hat off to George Kambosos,” he added.
Kambosos came out with all guns firing in front of a church crowd and changed his stance to mess up Haney’s timing.
But after an even first four rounds, Haney gradually gained control, tearing Kambosos apart with impunity in the second half of the fight, the Australian having no reply to the American’s relentless right hand.
– ‘It’s not the end’ –
The win extended Haney’s phenomenal record to 29-0 with 15 KOs, while Kambosos inflicted only the second loss that now stands 21-2.
The Aussie suggested before the fight he could retire if he loses and the chances of him taking another world title now seem slim.
But he put an end to retirement talk after the fight.
“He’s a great fighter. He gave me a boxing lesson the first time, but I came here and gave it my all. It is what it is,” he said.
“It’s not the end, I’ll be back,” added Kambosos. “I think this was a much better fight than the first fight.”
Two-time world title challenger Jason Moloney of Australia had a unanimous points victory over Thailand’s Nawaphon Kaikanha in the final of the WBC bantamweight title.
In a second world title fight, the Australian IBF super bantamweight champion Cherneka Johnson defended her title.
Despite a deep cut that left her covered in blood, she beat Australian former two-time world champion Susie Ramadan, also by unanimous decision.