American Devin Haney maintained his undefeated record Sunday by Australian George Kambosos with a thunderous right hand in the rematch to remain the world’s clearest contender.
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 the judge scoring 119-109 in his favor, and both having it. 118-110.
Haney is now looking to fight the next or second Olympic champion Vasiliy Lomachenko or Shakur Stevenson.
“We welcome all comers. It doesn’t 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 later told reporters.
The American is only the eighth boxer to hold four belts from the sanctioning bodies – WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO at the same time.
He beat Kambosos by unanimous decision in June to achieve the feat and became the first undisputed lightweight champion since Pernell Whitaker in 1990, and the first in a four-belt era that began in 2004.
Again he used sensational speed, instincts and a relentless left-hander, but this time he also unleashed a powerful right hand that left the Australians in a bloody mess.
“I knew he was looking for a fix, so I wanted to show other tools in my arsenal,” the San Francisco-born fighter said after chasing Kambosos, who did well to stay there after 12 rounds.
“My father (trainer Bill Haney) wanted me more with the sickle, but I feel right that I won the fight.
“He is a warrior man, I take my hat off to George Kambosos,” he added.
Kambosos came out all guns blazing in front of the parish crowd, changing his stance to upset Haney’s nervous tour.
But after the opening four rounds, Haney gradually gained control and picked off the Kambos individually and into the middle of the fight with the Australian second half having no answer to the relentless American right.
– It is not the end.
The victory extends Haney’s phenomenal record to 29-0 with 15 KOs, while inflicting his second defeat on Kambosos, who is now 21-2.
The Australian suggested before the fight that he could withdraw if he lost and his chances of securing another world title now appear slim.
But he stopped talking after the fight.
“He’s a great fighter. He gave me a lesson as a boxer first, but I came here and gave it my all. That’s it,” he said.
“It is not the end, I will return,” added Kambosos. “I feel like I’m fighting better than the first fight.”
In a bumper undercard, two-time world title challenger Jason Moloney of Australia had a one-point win over Thailand’s Nawaphon Kaikanha in the final eliminator for the WBC bantamweight title.
The other world title fight saw IBF women’s champion Australian super-bantampon Cherneka Johnson defend her title.
Despite a deep cut that left her covered in blood, the Australian also beat former two-time world champion Susie Ramadan by unanimous decision.