Haney pummels Kambosos to retain undisputed lightweight title

Melbourne (AFP) – American Devin Haney kept his unbeaten record intact Sunday by battering Australian George Kambosos with his thunderous right hand in a rematch to remain undisputed lightweight world 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 points decision with one judge scoring the bout 119-109 in his favour, and the other two both having it 118-110.

Haney now looks to fight next either two-time Olympic champion Vasiliy Lomachenko or Shakur Stevenson.

“We’re taking on all comers. No matter who it is, we want to fight the best fighters in the world. I believe I’m the best fighter in the world,” Haney told reporters afterwards.

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 achieve the feat and become the first undisputed lightweight champion since Pernell Whitaker in 1990, and the first in the four-belt era which began in 2004.

He again used his sensational speed, instinct and relentless left jab, but this time also deployed big right-hand blows that left the Australian a bloodied mess.

“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 pummeling Kambosos, who did well to still be there after 12 rounds.

“My dad (trainer Bill Haney) wanted me to hook more, but I feel the right hand is what won me the fight.

“He’s a warrior, I take my hat off to George Kambosos,” he added.

Kambosos came out all guns blazing in front of a parochial crowd, switching his stance in a bid to upset Haney’s timing.

But after an even opening four rounds, Haney gradually gained control and picked Kambosos apart with impunity in the second half of the fight with the Australian having no answer to the American’s relentless right hand.

‘It’s not the end’

Victory stretched Haney’s phenomenal record to 29-0 with 15 KOs, while inflicting only the second defeat on Kambosos who is now 21-2.

The Australian suggested before the fight he could retire if he lost and the chances of him getting another world title crack now appear 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 feel that this was a much better fight than the first fight.”

On a bumper undercard, two-time world title challenger Jason Moloney of Australia had a unanimous points win over Thailand’s Nawaphon Kaikanha in the final eliminator for the WBC bantamweight title.

A second world title fight saw Australia’s women’s IBF super-bantamweight champion Cherneka Johnson defend her title.

Despite a deep cut that left her covered in blood, she beat Australian former two-time world belt-holder Susie Ramadan, also by a unanimous decision.

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