By: Hans Themistode
From the moment George Kambosos Jr. defeated Teofimo Lopez and subsequently wrapped his IBF, WBA, WBO, and WBC Franchise lightweight titles around his waist, Devin Haney placed a bullseye on the Australian’s back.
Though Kambosos Jr. originally wanted to defend his 135-pound throne against Vasiliy Lomachenko, with the Ukrainian opting to instead stay in his native land and help defend against Russia’s ongoing invasion, Kambosos Jr. turned his attention toward Haney.
With Lomachenko temporarily out of the picture, Haney has officially signed his name on the dotted line to face Kambosos Jr. on June 5th, in Melbourne Australia. While Haney has opened up as a slight favorite, many have expressed concern. According to the terms of their possible two-fight deal, should Haney defeat Kambosos Jr. come June 5th, he’ll be mandated to face Kambosos Jr. immediately after. Just like their first bout, their second contest would take place in Australia as well.
Despite the apprehension, Tim Bradley is hoping that Haney won’t be rattled by fighting on foreign territory. Having won the first world title of his career against Junior Witter in 2008 in Witter’s backyard in the United Kingdom, Bradley is of the belief that as long as Haney remains focused on the task at hand, he’ll get the job done.
“He can’t worry about that,” said Bradley to a group of reporters. “At the end of the day, you got to go in there and fight your fight. I think that Haney has enough skills and ability to beat a fighter like Kambosos.”
Haney, the current WBC lightweight belt holder, had long been hoping to face one of the division’s best. In 2021, Haney completed the most impressive year of his young career. In May, the 23-year-old dominated former multiple weight world champion, Jorge Linares. Roughly seven months later, Haney would go on to hand Joseph Diaz a fairly one-sided unanimous decision defeat.
While Bradley believes that Kambosos Jr. is a terrific fighter in his own right, he’s also of the belief that as long as Haney doesn’t plant his feet and fight fire with fire, he should have little to no issue leaving Australia with every world title draped safely over his shoulders.
“I just think that Haney gotta box. If he just boxes for 12 rounds, he should be able to whitewash him. Haney has better feet, he’s longer, has a longer jab. It’s when he sits still, that’s the problem that I have. When he goes into that Philly shell, he gets hit with right hands. I worry about that, especially against Kambosos.”
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