MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – American Devin Haney remains the undisputed lightweight boxing champion after once again outclassing former title holder George Kambosos Jr. in Melbourne.
Despite suffering a cut to the right side of his face during round eight, 23-year-old Haney dominated on Sunday as he claimed a unanimous points decision over the Australian.
The unbeaten American has won 29 fights, 15 of them by knockout, and has unified the WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring light belts.
Haney overtook Kambosos, who won all four titles in a shocked victory over Teofino Lopez at Madison Square Garden last November, in Melbourne in June, when he first claimed lightweight belts.
Haney proved to be the top boxer again with another win over Kambosos, who suffered cuts under his left eye and above his right ear that left him bleeding towards the end of the fight.
Haney’s left jab was the difference in the first fight, but he proved his versatility when he used his right hand to great effect in their second fight.
A decisive winner, Haney received a verdict of 118-109 from one judge, while the other two judges rated him as a winner of 118-110.
“I went there and knew he was looking for the jab. We wanted to show other tools in my arsenal. I think the right hand won the battle tonight, “said Haney.” He’s a warrior. I take my hat off with George Kambosos and all the Australians who came out. “
A second consecutive defeat raises questions about the future of the 29-year-old boxer known as “Ferocious” Kambosos, who dropped to a record 20-2 with the defeat.
Kambosos said early in their second fight that he would retire if beaten again by Haney, though he later got back on that statement.
He said it “wasn’t the end” after the loss when he praised Haney.
“He is a great fighter. For me, having the courage to go with him again. He gave me a good boxing lesson in the first round, “he said.” He’s a smart man. I gave it my all. I tried my heart out tonight. But this guy is going to be there for a long time.
“I gave him a great challenge. A great battle over 24 rounds. He is one of the best in the world in boxing, not just in this division. “
Boxing from the red corner, the Aussie started the fight well, pinning his rival on the ropes with a flurry of punches just before the bell rang to conclude the first round.
But the American responded well in the next round as he began to take control.
The Las Vegas resident threw some strong punches during the third round and seemed increasingly comfortable on both the offensive and the defensive.
Haney managed his distance well despite Kambosos’ best efforts, using his left jab to great effect while also showing great skill with his right.
He was able to extend his lead in the fifth round despite the Sydney boxer getting some decent body shots.
After opening a cut under the Australian’s left eye, Haney peppered Kambosos with a series of hits in the seventh round.
With Jim Kambosos, the Australian’s father, urging the challenger to increase “the pressure”, he vigorously chased the title holder in the eighth round.
It was his best sequence since the latter stages of the first round, but at that point just one knockout would have been enough to secure Kambosos a win in the 12-round fight.
Sensing a possible shift in momentum, the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena rallied behind the Australian, who was able to open a cut on the right side of Haney’s face. But Haney responded by reaffirming his superiority.