Unified lightweight boxing champion George Kambosos Jr (20-0, 10 KOs) will defend his titles in front of his home fans this June.
ESPN’s Mike Coppinger reported on Sunday that the Australian will take on 23-year-old American standout Devin Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium on June 5th. This will be an afternoon show in Australia, catering to the American primetime audience who would be watching on Saturday, June 4th.
Former lightweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko originally agreed to a deal to fight Kambosos, but Lomachenko is staying in Ukraine to defend his country from Russia’s ongoing invasion. This paved the way for Haney to step in, and after talks broke down for DAZN to stream the fight, ESPN not only will televise the fight but Haney will now be co-promoted by Top Rank Boxing after his previous co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing expired.
Kambosos Jr shocked the world last November when he defeated Teofimo Lopez by split decision in New York. He dropped Lopez in the opening round, survived a late knockdown himself and otherwise outboxed the heavily favored Teofimo en route to taking his WBO, WBA, IBF, and WBC ‘franchise’ titles away. This fight was, of course, delayed several times for various reasons — Triller ended up bailing on promoting the bout and Matchroom picked it up as runners-up in the purse bid — but it all paid off in the end for George.
Haney was an amateur star who turned pro at just 17 years old, and has established himself as one of the premier lightweights in the sport. He’s coming off a unanimous decision over JoJo Diaz, which was preceded by a decision over former world champion Jorge Linares. The WBC champion is known for very slick boxing, fast hands, good defense, but isn’t exactly a big hitter.
Ignoring the stupid WBC “franchise” vs. plain ol’ WBC title, this is an undisputed title fight at 135 lbs. It’s the best fighting the best and props go to both Kambosos for not taking some lay-up defense and instead going head-on against the top of the class. Haney gets his biggest bout to date and he’ll have to go to enemy territory at least once, as there’s a rematch clause should Kambosos lose. No doubt that the atmosphere inside of the Marvel Stadium will be raucous.