Devin Haney is ready to face George Kambosos Jr. this weekend for the undisputed lightweight championship of the world in Melbourne, Australia.
If he wins, it will be a testament to the repetition of history, as his forefather, the great Jack Johnson, traveled to the land Down Under in 1908 to fight for the world heavyweight championship against Canadian Tommy Burns and won.
Johnson broke the heavyweight championship barrier, becoming the first Black heavyweight world champion of the world. If Haney defeats Kambosos Jr., he will have completed a circle in boxing history that crowns African-American champions on the biggest and most intense stage.
I still don’t understand the hate towards Devin Haney .. I mean he is 23 years old going to Kambozos backyard and getting a major pay cut and fighting for undisputed . All Devin wants to do is give the fans the best fights and receives criticism .. @Realdevinhaney pic.twitter.com/q6d539E5VX
— Lozano #11 (@TheRealCallsInQ) June 2, 2022
Against All Odds
Haney went through it all to face Kambosos Jr. and is still experiencing the ups and downs of opportunity. Father-trainer Bill Haney initially wasn’t granted a visa to travel with his son for the pivotal moment due to a past drug conviction in the 1990s. Instead, the two chose Devin’s godfather Yoel Judah, father of Zab Jubah, to guide his corner.
Then Team Haney cut man “Silent” Bob Ware was detained when he landed in Australia to join the team.
Reports are that Ware also had a conviction in America, and the Melbourne authorities are saying that he was not forthcoming about it on his visa application. That situation is still unfolding, as the fight is on Sunday Australian time to fit an American Saturday night viewing experience.
When The Tides Turns
But suddenly the tides began to turn for Haney.
During the weigh-in for the fight, Haney weighed in at a comfortable 134.92 pounds in enemy territory. Kambosos, Jr. weighed in at 135.36 pounds which is .36 over the lightweight limit to make it a championship fight. With all the pressure on Kambosos to represent Australian national pride, he initially failed on the scales.
Kambosos Jr. was given two hours to make weight, and ultimately he did, solidifying it as a championship fight.
“He ain’t s***, he didn’t make weight,” Haney said on stage after a faceoff and a camp scuffle on the weigh-in stage.
— Top Rank Boxing (@trboxing) June 4, 2022
Welcome Back Bill
Haney said that Kambosos looked dry, meaning he appeared to have nothing left to lose to make weight.
“I’m a true champion, and true champions make weight,” he said.
Also, after a last-minute effort to petition the Victorian government for a visa for his father, Bill Haney was granted a travel visa and flew to Australia to be in his son’s corner.
Allah doesn’t make mistakes! Alhamdulillah 🤲🏽❤️ https://t.co/9anRmf7tfL
— Devin Haney (@Realdevinhaney) June 3, 2022
Will History Repeat Itself
Now Haney, the WBC lightweight champion, looks to take the unified champion’s WBA, IBF, and WBO lightweight belts and become the undisputed lightweight champion.
For Haney, this is happening at 23 years old with a 27-0 record. For Jack Johnson, it happened at 30 years old with a 47-5-8 record. The impact of a win in Australia has not gone over Haney’s head, and in his words, he is there to make “history repeat itself.”
“It happened before, and it will happen again. History repeats itself, and I’ll show you on (Saturday); this will be huge, and we might have a parade back in the States after.”