Devin Haney became the undisputed lightweight champion Sunday afternoon at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, with a unanimous-decision victory over George Kambosos on ESPN.
Haney (28-0, 15 KOs) used his excellent jab to dictate the pace en route to the win via scores of 116-112, 118-110 and 116-112. Now, the 23-year-old from Las Vegas owns all four 135-pound titles after the dominant performance against ESPN’s No. 1 lightweight.
Kambosos, a 28-year-old from Sydney, Australia, can choose to exercise his contractual right to an immediate rematch with Haney later this year in Australia.
Official scorecards: 116-112, 116-112 and 118-110.
Round 12: Close round as Kambosos makes one final push, but it’s a formality. Haney too sharp, too good. He wins the final round and the fight. Now we see if the judges agree. 10-9, Haney. 118-110, Haney.
Round 11: Haney uses the jab to contend with the hard-charging Kambosos, who lands a few solid shots, but Haney makes him pay this time when he misses. 10-9, Haney. 108-101, Haney.
Round 10: George Kambosos continues to press forward in an attempt to land one big shot. He’s doing his best work of the fight in the late stages. 10-9, Kambosos. 98-92, Haney.
Round 9: Kambosos finally wins a round on this card. He’s pressing harder and breaks through with a few effective shots. Haney’s right eye now swollen. Haney faded in wins over Linares and Diaz. Can Kambosos rally? 10-9, Kambosos. 89-82, Haney.
Round 8: George Kambosos beginning to press harder. He’s being dominated but it appears his will remains strong, as always. Needs to land something big and fast. 10-9, Haney. 80-72, Haney.
Round 7: Kambosos’ face really showing the effects of Haney’s attack now. Haney’s face, meanwhile, is clean. Haney dominating. 10-9, Haney. 70-63, Haney.
Round 6: George Kambosos lands a sharp left hook but before he can follow up Devin Haney wisely ties him up. Kambosos’ left eye now swollen and red. Haney in control halfway through. 10-9, Haney. 60-54, Haney.
Round 5: Dare I say this is starting to resemble a vintage Floyd Mayweather performance? Haney, round after round, controlling the action with his excellent jab and dictating pace. Kambosos has no answers so far. He simply can’t get inside that jab. 10-9, Haney. 50-45, Haney.
Round 4: Devin Haney now starting to follow up the jab with the right hand. George Kambosos’ eyes starting to swell a bit. He needs to land something soon to grab Haney’s respect and alter the fight. 10-9, Haney. 40-36, Haney.
Round 3: Tactical fight thus far. Haney’s jab and overall defensive skills too much for Kambosos through three. Haney making him miss but not making him pay. 10-9, Haney. 30-27, Haney.
Round 2: Haney continues to control the action with the jab. He’s changing levels with the lead jab beautifully, and it’s disrupting Kambosos’ rhythm. The unified champion did connect with a pair of sharp left hands but not enough. 10-9, Haney. 20-18, Haney.
Round 1: Devin Haney establishes his excellent jab early and often ties up George Kambosos Jr. who is looking for the looping right hand, the same punch that dropped Teofimo Lopez in the opening round in November. 10-9, Haney.
The fight is next!
Legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer is doing fighter introductions. First Haney, then Kambosos.
Devin Haney is already in the ring. George Kambosos Jr. is making his way flanked by the flags of Australia and Greece.
Moloney stops Palicte with brutal third-round TKO
Jason Moloney, after four fights stateside, returned to Australia with a statement.
The 31-year-old scored a third-round TKO of Aston Palicte in a bantamweight fight, the chief support bout to George Kambosos Jr. vs. Devin Haney.
Moloney (24-2, 19 KOs) floored Palicte with a short right hand before a barrage of shots led to referee Ignatius Missailidis stepping in as Palicte was falling down a second time. The time of the stoppage was 2:35.
The twin brother of Andrew Moloney, who was also set to compete on this card, Jason Moloney is rated No. 7 by ESPN at bantamweight. The victory was Moloney’s third straight since a seventh-round KO loss to unified champion Naoya Inoue in 2020.
Palicte (28-5-1, 23 KOs), a 31-year-old from the Philippines, lost for the third time in six fights.
Browne scores must-see first-round KO over Fa
Lucas Browne stuns the announcers and the Australian crowd with this knockout in the first round of his fight against Junior Fa.
Lucas Browne, 43, delivered a stunning result with a first-round TKO of heavyweight fringe contender Junior Fa.
Browne, a native of Australia, sent Fa crashing to the mat with an overhand right on the ear, then finished off Fa with another single right hand to the head.
Browne (31-3, 27 KOs) had the biggest win of his career in 2016 when he scored a 10th-round TKO of a faded version of Ruslan Chagaev, but lost three fights inside the distance since then, including a first-round TKO last year to journeyman Paul Gallen.
Fa (19-2, 10 KOs), a 32-year-old from New Zealand, was competing for the first time since he dropped a decision to former heavyweight titleholder Joseph Parker in February 2021.
Nickolas and Higgins fight to majority draw
Lachlan Higgins and Terry Nickolas battled to a majority draw in a six-round junior middleweight bout.
One judge scored the bout for Higgins, 58-56, but was overruled by twin tallies of 57-57.
Higgins (7-4-2, 2 KOs) and Nickolas (2-1-1, 2 KOs) engaged in an exciting scrap between two domestic-level fighters from Australia, but couldn’t produce a winner. The bout was the final preliminary matchup before the main card begins.
Robertson wins flyweight debut
In a five-round women’s flyweight bout, Taylah Robertson improved to 5-1 (with 1 knockout) with a shutout unanimous decision over Sarah Higginson. All three judges scored the bout 50-45. It was Robertson’s first fight at 112 pounds.
Robertson, a 24-year-old Australian, will fight again in 10 days in her home country. Higginson, meanwhile, lost for the first time as a pro, falling to 3-1-1, 1 KO.
Angeloni dominates Aitken in professional debut
Yoel Angeloni successfully made his pro debut with a unanimous-decision victory over Ken Aitken in a four-round welterweight bout.
The 18-year-old was forced to contend with a nasty gash over his left eye following a clash of heads. He was a member of the Cuban National Youth Team before he continued his amateur career in Italy, where he now resides.
Angeloni, who is promoted by Lou DiBella, prevailed via 39-37, 39-37 and 40-36 scorecards. Atken (3-1, 1 KO) suffered the first defeat of his career.
Junior lightweight Pom Thanawut Phetkum defeated Hussein Fayad by unanimous decision with scores of 40-36, 40-36 and 40-36.