To some, Devin “The Dream” Haney (28-0, 15 KOs) was the “email champion” after he was awarded the WBC 135-pound title in 2019 when Vasiliy Lomachencko was elevated to the Franchise champion.
However, following Sunday’s dominant 12-round unanimous decision win over George Kambosos Jr. (20-1, 10 KOs) at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, we can now call Haney the undisputed champion at 135 and the king of the division. Haney became the eighth fighter in history to capture all four major championship titles in the four-belt era and the first to do so at 135 pounds.
The Oakland native used his jab to perfection and controlled the fight throughout. It was an easy night for the 23-year-old Haney, and two judges had it 116-112, while another judge scored the fight 118-110.
Coming into this fight, Haney had a lot going against him. First, he was going to Kambosos’ home country of Australia, and finally, it appeared as if Haney’s father/trainer, Bill, would not be able to be in his corner for the fight after he denied entry into the country, but the Australian government allowed him in, and he was there to witness history.
“This is a dream come true,” Haney said after the win. “I was going through it without my dad being here because I knew it was a big moment for us. We both dreamed of this. Since we started out, we said we wanted to be the best. It would have hurt me to accomplish this without him. I’m so thankful that we were able to accomplish this together.
“I was comfortable. I was just sticking to the game plan. The game plan was to go there and hit and not get hit, and I did that for the majority of the fight. I took the last round off just because I knew I was comfortably ahead, but I fought a good, smart fight.”
Kambosos has a rematch clause, and he expects to exercise it.
“I landed the right hand a few times,” he said after the loss. “I worked it to the body, but he had a smart game plan. He grabbed and held a lot and did what he had to do to win. That’s what it’s about. You do what you have to do to win, and today they gave him the decision, but I’m sure it will change when we get it on again. Respect to him, and respect to boxing. This is boxing. You fight the best. Win, lose, or draw. This is what it’s all about. F*** protecting records. I’ve always been about fighting the best. I gave him a shot, and we’ll do it again.”
Regarding the rematch, not sure the outcome would be any different. Haney is just the better fighter. However, if you’re Kambosos, the most money you can make and your best chance to become a champion again would be in the rematch, so it would only make sense for him to run it back.