Photos by Mikey Williams
Undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney skilfully defended his titles with a masterly performance at the Rod Laver Arena, in Melbourne defeating brave and resolute George Kambosos Jr in a more exciting fight than their previous encounter.
In fight one, back in June at the Marvel Stadium, also in Melbourne, Devin had dominated, keeping George at bay with a jarring ramrod left jab. This time around he paved the way to victory with that left, but also some superbly accurate straight rights, as George tried wading in and switch hitting, which brought only occasional limited success.
George´s record is now 20-2, 10 KO´s, while Devin remains undefeated at 29-0, 15 KO`s. Before the fight, Devin had predicted that George would try to cut the distance and be appreciably more aggressive, and so it proved. George switched to southpaw, bobbed and weaved, but the tactic was met with laser accurate punches, especially the counter right and some right leads. George`s left was not dangling like last time. Rather it was held high and pumped out, but Devin was elusive. There was quite a bit of clinching and Referee Katsuhiko Nakamura warned Devin about it, as early as the first round. George was swarming in.
Devin connected with a big right in round three in between clipping and cuffing George who was having to take a bevy of punches to land his own. He was getting speared as he came in. by round seven there was a red welt under George`s left eye, but Devin`s right cheekbone was also swelling. In the next round a downward trajectory right caught George, who responded with a good right of his own and a hard left hook. By the ninth both had suffered cuts to the eyes. George also had a gash to the scalp weeping blood.
Devin really went to town in round ten. A big left hook, several hard rights, a cracking left right combination. George`s face was masked in blood and he winced after the bell as he went back to his corner. At the start of round eleven, The Referee steered George over to the ring doctor to inspect his cuts on his homely, still handsome, chiselled, but battered face. It took but a moment and George was back in the fray. Devin connecting with rights and George coming back with one of his own and then another big right from George which landed hard on Devin`s face, stinging him.
A brief touch of gloves in the twelfth and final round. Devin again relied on his measuring left jab and the right backing it up as George fought on grimly determined and gritty. As the bell rang, Devin flashed a smile, containing a generous portion of triumph, but also a tinge of relief. It`d been a harder fight than their first. George never gave up trying, but Devin`s uncanny compass directional skills and his willingness to be more aggressive to carry the day, proved decisive reflected in the Judges scores of: 119-109, 118-110 and 118-110. Any animosity now spent and dissipated to the winds, as the two congratulated each other and chatted as colleagues, after being opponents, but never enemies.
— Claressa Gwoat Shields (@Claressashields) October 16, 2022