Aussie George Kambosos Jr. is now one fight from being the undisputed lightweight champion of the world as the man with the one other belt he needs ready to throw gloves.
With Kambosos Jr. ringside, Devin Haney continued his 27-0 career in a unanimous decision win over JoJo Diaz in Las Vegas.
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While Diaz put in a good fight, Haney was dominant, winning a 117-111×2, 116-112 victory to retain his WBC lightweight title.
It leaves little in the way of an undisputed championship fight in Australia as Kambosos Jr. would bring the IBF, WBA and WBO titles after last weekend’s victory over Teofimo Lopez.
And Haney is up for it.
“C’mon Kambosos, let’s do it for all the belts, the real undisputed, let’s do it next,” Haney said after his fight.
Asked if he’d come to Australia, Haney said: “I’d go to Jupiter if I got to.”
Only six men in the four belt era have ever held all four belts at once in any division after Saul “Canelo” Alvarez joined the club last month.
Haney said he struggled to make 135 pounds for the fights at lightweight and said he only wants to do it in order to get the big fights.
“I think it’s a great fight, for all the belts,” Haney said. “I thought he put on a great performance against Teofimo Lopez. I think the fans would love to see it, it would leave no more dispute as to who is the WBC champion so let’s do it next.”
But it also meant that Kambosos was quick to respond, saying he’s already seen holes he hopes to exploit.
“He boxed nice, he did what he had to do, similar to his other fights. But I’ve got to give credit to JoJo Diaz, he brought it, but Devin Haney did his thing,” Kambosos said.
Asked about how different a prospect Haney would be, Kambosos said he believed he already saw the weakness in the American’s defence.
“I saw the holes there already,” he began. “That’s me as a fighter, I see things straight away. It was a good fight, I’ll give him his props and we’ll see what happens now.”
The excuses from Lopez came straight after the fight, including a bizarre claim he dominated the fight that was backed up by his dad and the more serious drama after it was revealed Lopez “could have died” due to air in his chest cavity.
DAZN commentator and former WBC light middleweight champ Sergio Mora said he believed Kambosos had what it takes to beat Haney, as the Aussie’s ability to break distance and time his punches is essential.
He also added that Kambosos would be the favourite.
“I’m a natural 135 pounder, I’m strong but I’m very explosive, very fast, it’s something he would have never seen in his life before, just like Lopez had never seen before in his life.”
Haney then joined the interview. The pair shook hands before Kambosos added: “Great win, now we can talk”.
Haney didn’t want to be drawn into any smack talk about heading forward but did fire one subtle shot.
Asked if he’d ever been to Australia, Haney said: “No, I’ve never been but I look forward to going to pick up some belts out there.”
“Be careful of the 80,000 coming out of Australia. You thought the crowd tonight was pretty crazy, 80,000 in Australia,” Kambosos replied.
“The crowd doens’t win fights, I do — let’s do it,” Haney added.
Kambosos got the last word, saying: “I know that, I dealt with that with Lopez.”
And we all know how that ended.
It seems from the reaction that the Kambosos-Haney fight for all the belts in the lightweight division is exactly the fight the boxing world wants to see.
Boxing journalist Dan Rafael said it was clear the pair wanted to do battle. “Kambosos and Haney being interviewed together. Haney wants it and Kambosos says ‘now we can talk’. much respect between them. They want to fight each other,” he tweeted.
Lightweight rival Ryan Garcia added of Haney: “Good fight but The hunger to do something special was not there.”
Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn was also looking for the next fight Down Under.
“Another brilliant fight. respect to both! And Still!!! @Realdevinhaney – @georgekambosos let’s go for the real undisputed!!!”