Devin Haney was willing to step up and fly to Australia to battle George Kambosos Jr. for the undisputed lightweight championship on Saturday night. That proved to be a very profitable decision for Haney as he dominated Kambosos across 12 rounds to win all four world championships at 135 pounds.
Haney becomes just the ninth fighter to unify all four recognized titles in any weight class and the second youngest at just 23.
There was very little drama in the bout, with Haney immediately establishing a brilliant jab that kept Kambosos from ever getting his offense going. As the jab landed, Haney fired lead left hooks and straight right hands behind it, each shot discouraging Kambosos from letting go with the right hand he seemed to have loaded up the entire night.
In the end, Haney picked up the unanimous decision victory with the official scorecards reading 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110.
“I handicapped him at his best game,” Haney said after the fight. “He wanted to land the overhand right and the big left hook. I handicapped him. I was fighting both ways. When I would go to the left I would fight his right hand. When I would go to the right, I would fight his hook. He couldn’t land either one of them.”
Haney, who entered with the WBC championship, was not the man originally set to face Kambosos after Kambosos’ shocking upset win over Teofimo Lopez to capture the WBC franchise championship along with holding the WBA, IBF and WBO world titles. The original plan was for Kambosos to defend against former champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. When Lomachenko pulled out of the bout to remain in his native Ukraine after Russia’s invasion of the country, the opportunity came for Haney to silence critics who claimed his WBC title was illegitimate when he was elevated from interim champion when Lomachenko was named franchise champion by the WBC.
After a rocky build to the fight that saw Kambosos frequently use trash talk, Haney’s father arrive the night before the fight and Kambosos miss weight on his first attempt, Haney was calm from the jump, looking every bit a masterful boxer as he completely shut down Kambosos and marked up the Aussie’s face with a steady diet of jabs.
Kambosos will have the opportunity for revenge as the fight with Haney included a rematch clause that also stated Haney would have to return to Australia should he win the first go-round.
Kambosos made it clear that he did have every intention of activating that clause when speaking after the fight.
“I’m going to give him full respect, let him have his time and we’ll do it again,” Kambosos said. “I thought the fight was very close but I’m not going to wreck his moment. … I’ll see him very soon.”
Stephen Fulton dominates Daniel Roman
Kambosos vs. Haney was not the only fight on Saturday night with multiple world championships on the line. Stephen Fulton defended his WBC and WBO super bantamweight titles against Daniel Roman in Minneapolis.
Similar to Haney’s victory, Fulton used movement and a stiff jab to set the tone for all 12 rounds of action with Roman trying to bring pressure but finding every attempt to get going stifled.
Fulton simply outclassed and outboxed Roman at every turn, turning a fight that had the potential to be one of the best of the year into a one-sided rout. The official scorecards for the bout read 119-109, 120-108, and 120-108.
“It was very important to control the distance tonight,” Fulton said after the fight. “Like I said before, in the last outing with Brandon Figueroa, I didn’t have the energy because I didn’t make the weight the right way. So shout out to my dietician. Any moment he had, I took it right away from him. I neutralized the threat.”
Fulton now turns his attention to his goal of meeting WBA and IBF champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev in a four-belt unification later in the year.
CBS Sports was with you throughout the entire way on Saturday for both events, so be sure to follow along with the live results and highlights below.
- Devin Haney (c) def. Georgie Kambosos Jr. via unanimous decision (116-112, 116-112, 118-110)
- Stephen Fulton (c) def. Daniel Roman via unanimous decision (119-109, 120-108, 120-108)