Devin Haney Fulfills “The Dream” Becomes Undisputed Lightweight Champion With Boxing Master Class Down Under

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 05: Devin Haney celebrates after defeating George Kambosos Jnr, during their World Lightweight Undisputed Championship fight, at Marvel Stadium on June 05, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Devin “The Dream” Haney proved all the doubters wrong last night when he defeated George Kambosos Jr. to become the undisputed lightweight champion of the world.

What’s more is how Haney (28-0, 15 KOs) won, executing a master-class performance in boxing, using his jab as a measuring stick to outpoint and disassemble the strategy of “Ferocious” Kambosos Jr. (20-1, 10 KOs).

“I was comfortable, Haney said post-fight. “I was just sticking to the game plan. The game plan was to go there and hit and not get hit, and I did that for the majority of the fight. I took the last round off just because I knew I was comfortably ahead, but I fought a good, smart fight.”

Masterful

With two 116-112 scores and one score of 118-110, judges saw a shutout that denotes Haney’s A-list cast of mentors his whole boxing career, like his godfather Zab Judah and boxing big brother Floyd Mayweather Jr., who previously offered Haney a fight deal that the young boxer turned down to be his own promoter.

Emotionally, it was a victory as Haney almost didn’t have his father-trainer Bill Haney in his corner; the country granted the elder Haney a travel visa at the last minute to steer his son to victory.

“This is a dream come true. I was going through it without my dad being here because I knew it was a big moment for us. We both dreamed of this. Since we started out, we said we wanted to be the best. It would have hurt me to accomplish this without him.”

Living The Dream

On Sunday afternoon at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, the 12-round unanimous decision was in front of 41,129 of Kambosos Jr.’s home fans. The fight aired on Saturday night on ESPN, which undoubtedly brought Haney millions of new fans.

“I want to thank George Kambosos and all of Australia for coming out. Thank you, George, for giving me the shot. All of these so-called champions would not give me my shot. But George was a true champion, and he gave me my shot. Thank you for this.”

Haney holds the WBC/WBA/WBO/IBF and Ring Magazine lightweight titles, becoming the eighth fighter to capture all four major championship titles in the four-belt era.

He is now the first to achieve the feat at 135 pounds.

All About The Jab

Haney’s strategy was all about footwork, angles, and consistency round by round. Haney jabbed, went in and out, and pivoted out of the way to mostly avoid Kambosos’ ferocious counter-punching skills.

“I handicapped him of his best things. He wanted to land the overhand right, and he wanted to land 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 left hook. And he couldn’t hit me with neither one of them.”

A Loss Down Under

The Aussie was gracious in defeat even though the pre-fight lead up was a mixed bag of harsh words and tension between the two fighters’ camps.

“This was amazing for the sport. It was amazing for the country. At the end of the day, I wanted to take the best and hardest tests. I’m going to give him full respect after his victory today. Let him have his time, and we’ll do it again.

“I have to implement a few things, but I thought the fight was very close. I’m not going to wreck his moment. I’ll let him have his moment. Last November, my moment was wrecked, so let him have his moment, and I’ll see you again real soon.”

Run It Back?

There is a reported rematch clause, and undoubtedly the second bout, when scheduled, could top the first. Kambosos and his team insisted on a rematch clause, with the sequel in Australia if required.

“I landed the right hand a few times. I worked it to the body, but he had a smart game plan. He grabbed and held a lot and did what he had to do to win. That’s what it’s about. You do what you have to do to win, and today they gave him the decision, but I’m sure it will change when we get it on again.

“Respect to him, and respect to boxing. This is boxing. You fight the best. Win, lose or draw. This is what it’s all about. F*** protecting records. I’ve always been about fighting the best. I gave him a shot, and we’ll do it again.”

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.