American Devin Haney maintained an undefeated record on Sunday, beating Australian George Kambosos with his right hand in a rematch to remain the undisputed lightweight world champion.
The highly-rated 23-year-old successfully defended the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO titles in a unanimous decision at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, winning a referee match 119-109 in his favor and the other two. 118-110.
Haney now wants to challenge either two-time Olympic champion Vasiliy Lomachenko or Shakur Stevenson.
“We take everyone who comes. Whoever it is, we want to fight the best fighters in the world. I believe I am the best fighter in the world,” Haney later told reporters.
The American is only the eighth boxer to hold four belts simultaneously from major sanctioning bodies – the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO.
He succeeded in beating Kambosos unanimously in June, becoming the first undisputed lightweight champion since Pernell Whitaker in 1990 and the first in a four-generation era that began in 2004.
He again used his sensational speed, instinct and relentless left kick, but this time he also used massive right blows that left the Australian in a bloody mess.
“I knew you were going to call the hatch, so I wanted to show you the other tools in my arsenal,” the San Francisco-born fighter said after punching Kambosos, who was still doing well after 12 rounds of being still there.
“My dad (trainer Bill Haney) wanted me to hook more, but I feel like it was the right hand that won me the battle.
“He’s a warrior, hats off to George Kambosos,” he added.
Kambosos emerged in front of a narrow-minded crowd, firing all his guns, and changed his stance to disrupt Haney’s timing.
But after a four-round equal opening, Haney slowly regained control and chose Kambosos with impunity in the second half of the fight, where the Australian had no answer to the American’s unrelenting right hand.
‘This is not the end’
The victory brought Haney’s phenomenal record 29-0 with 15 knockouts, inflicting only his second defeat to Kambosos, now 21-2.
The Australian suggested he could retire if he lost before the fight and his chances of winning another world title now look slim.
However, he ended his retirement speech after the fight.
“He’s a great fighter. He gave me boxing lessons for the first time, but I came here and gave my all. It is what it is,” he said.
“It’s not the end, I’ll be back,” Kambosos added. “I feel like this is a much better fight than the first fight.”
In a colliding undercard, two-time world title contender Australian Jason Moloney scored unanimously against Thailand’s Nawaphon Kaikanha in the final qualifier for the WBC bantamweight title.
A second world title fight saw Australia’s female IBF super bantamweight champion Cherneka Johnson defend her title.
Despite a bloody deep cut, she again defeated former Australian two-time world belt holder Susie Ramadan in a unanimous decision.
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