Haney: ‘I should definitely be on the pound-for-pound rankings’

The first time he was good, but undisputed 135-pound champion Devin Haney was even better in the rematch. Haney bloodied and dominated George Kambosos Jr. for over 12 rounds to retain his titles on Sunday afternoon at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

The three judges had it 119-109 and 118-110(2x), all for Haney.

Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) handled his business in Australia in June as he dominated Kambosos(20-2, 10 KOs) to capture the titles. The Australian had a mandated rematch and hoped things would be different the second time.

To Kambosos’ credit, he tried new things, including switching to southpaw, and he was effective in Round 1. However, Haney picked things up from there. He, again, used his jab and landed some beautiful right hands throughout the night. 

(Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Last time, it was about Haney’s jab, and this time, it was about the power shots. According to CompuBox, Haney landed 114 out of 232 power shots, while Kambosos only landed 50 of 181.

“I knew that he was looking for the jab,” Haney said after the win. “So, my team wanted me to show other tools in my arsenal. My dad {head trainer Bill Haney} wanted me to throw the hook more. But I feel that the right hand was what won me the fight tonight. When he first came out, I didn’t expect him to be switching. But I caught on to his timing and his angles, and I started to pick my shots more. Against a southpaw, the right hand is always on the money. That’s what happened.”

(Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images)

Haney feels at this point that this win should get him more respect in boxing and put him on the pound-for-pound list.

“I should definitely be on the pound-for-pound rankings,’ he said. “In the first fight, they said that all I had was my jab. Today, I came in and showed them my right hand. I showed how versatile I am. I came to Australia not once but twice. I beat this man twice in his hometown. I definitely deserve to be in the pound-for-pound rankings.”

For Kambosos, you wonder what’s next. He clearly has no answers for Haney, but fortunately for him, that win over Teofimo Lopez got him a few decent paydays. However, Kambosos says it’s not over.

“He’s a great fighter,” Kambosos said about Haney. “He gave me a good boxing lesson the first time, and I came here, and I gave it my all. I had a great preparation. He’s slick, man. He’s a good fighter. He’s slick. I tried my best. I need some rest. Two great fights, you know. It is what it is. I tried my hardest. Devin, I wish you all the best. This is not the end for George Kambosos. I’ll be back.

“I had a great win last year. I was on top of the world. I tried to chase the best. He’s one of the best in the world. I’m very appreciative of the opportunity.”

Haney has many options, but you wonder if those options will continue to be at 135 or 140. At some point, Haney is going to move up to 140. He and his team will have to determine what’s best for his career, but if I’m Team Haney, I try to get a big money fight at 135 and then try my hand at 140.

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