Boxing Social writers Craig Scott and John Angus MacDonald go head to head to debate this weekend’s undisputed world lightweight championship showdown between George Kambosos Jr and Devin Haney.
The 27-0 Haney is a marginal favourite with bookmakers, but Kambosos (20-0) made a mockery of being the underdog against Teofimo Lopez and will be confident of adding the American’s WBC belt to his WBA Super, IBF and WBO straps. Boxing Social pitted two of our top writers in a head to head to debate the outcome.
Who will be proved correct? Only time will tell!
Craig Scott: There are too many things working against Haney here for me to confidently pick against Kambosos winning on home soil…
Yes, we’re getting a little bit fed up of Kambosos’ “rags-to-riches, if I can do it, ANYONE CAN DO IT,” rhetoric, but the Australian truly was never given a chance on his way up. I couldn’t have been paid to pick him over Teofimo Lopez, who’d looked on top of the world when beating Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Haney is very skilled, boxes beautifully in spells and has looked a class above most of his opponents. But he needs a bit of time and space to operate. Kambosos will be planning on giving him neither. He’ll look to smother the travelling Haney, suffocate him, bully him into a state of confusion and negate his slippery, well-oiled combinations.
One thing that we know Kambosos has in abundance is heart. Will. Determination. He’ll happily walk through Haney’s punches just to stamp a semblance of authority on the young champion. It doesn’t have to be pretty; it just has to look dominant.
Haney finds himself on the opposite side of the planet, without his father and his trainer, without his core corner team, and with a new promotional outfit running the event. He’s used to home comforts and golden boy-status. Not this time.
I think Kambosos will win by decision in a fight where – potentially – he isn’t the most effective fighter. But I can see his raw, relentless pressure dazzling the judges, while Haney’s cleaner work maybe goes unnoticed… Kambosos by decision. Another big W down under.
John Angus MacDonald: Kambosos’ win over Teofimo Lopez was one the biggest upsets of last year. Sadly for the Australian, history tells us that the men who pull off shock victories, more often than not then struggle to replicate the form shown during their moment of glory.
Kambosos’ ‘Little Engine That Could’ shtick is going run out of steam this weekend.
Yes, the disputed undisputed lightweight champion of the world holds every advantage, but it is likely not to matter. Yes, we saw in the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Jeff Horn that Australia isn’t the easiest place in the world for an away fighter to get a decision, but Pacquiao’s willingness to engage gave the judges the opportunity to reward ‘The Hornet’s’ ineffective aggression.
Haney is unlikely to make that mistake. The American’s fights can often resemble sparring sessions, such is the control he manages to gain over proceedings. Kambosos can attempt to apply pressure all he wants, but Haney is too damn slippery. He always has an escape route.
The man in the corner only really matters if things are going wrong. Up to now, things have predominantly gone right for ‘The Dream.’ You could have a P.E. teacher in the corner and I’d still favour Haney.
I’ll take Haney by decision, with at least one awful card, for good measure.