American boxing superstar Devin Haney defended his world title with a powerful win over Australian George Kambosos Jr. in Melbourne.
Four months after a dour first bout, the lightweight rivals went the distance again but put on a far more entertaining show in Sunday’s rematch at Rod Laver Arena.
Haney dominated the first half of the fight to a point win, but the 23-year-old had to work for the belts when things got bloody in the eighth and ninth rounds.
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Kambosos was cut multiple times and overcame a doctor’s assessment after Haney racked up the pain in a brutal 10th round.
The local hero refused to backtrack even when he was cut again in the 11th, but he could only deal so much damage to a world champion at the peak of his powers.
Haney won 119-109, 118-110 and 118-110.
The win cements Haney’s status as boxing’s greatest lightweight today and sets up a possible clash with Ukraine’s Vasiliy Lomachenko, while 29-year-old Kambosos is pushed back to the drawing board after three consecutive high-profile bouts.
On the undercard, the Moloney twins both picked up wins as Jason and Andrew sought world title fights.
Jason positioned himself for another crack for the WBC bantamweight world title after a unanimous decision win over Nawaphon Kaikanha (118-110, 118-110, 119-109).
Jason used his superior footwork and body punches to highlight the Thai veteran, who had 46 knockouts among his 56 wins.
Japanese giant Naoya Inoue, who defeated Jason by knockout in his 2020 world title showdown, is expected to move up a division and vacate his belts.
“This is the last hurdle for me to become world champion,” said Jason.
“We’ll have to wait and see what (Naoya) Inoue does. It looks like he’s gaining weight so the WBC title will be vacant and that’s my dream, the WBC title.”
In a dominant performance against Dominican Norbelto Jimenez, Andrew captured the vacant WBO junior bantamweight title, also by unanimous decision.
Andrew, who dropped Jimenez twice in the 10-round contest en route to an emphatic victory, scored 97-90, 98-88, 98-89.
Andrew said he is ready for another world title after earning the WBA belt in 2020 and wants to fight WBO champion Kazuto Ioka on New Year’s Eve in Japan.
“I’m ready now,” he said.
“Let’s end the year as world champions.”
The veteran’s amazing “setup” claim as the fighter dedicates the win to his late brother
Cherneka Johnson previously held off hard-hitting veteran Susie Ramadan, a five-time world champion, to retain her IBF super-bantamweight crown.
Ramadan had threatened an upset after inflicting a nasty cut over her rival’s eye in the first round.
But the blood-soaked Johnson, who won the belt in Melbourne in June, was declared the clear winner 97-90, 96-92, 96-91.
Ramadan, 43, was unhappy with the judges’ and referee’s decision.
“It seemed like a set up to be honest,” Ramadan said in the ring.
“My name is Ramadan but I’m a proud Australian. I was born here and grew up.”
She went on to claim that New Zealand-born Johnson should undergo a drug test.
“I hope she gets tested too because I’ve been told she’s in,” Ramadan said, providing no evidence for her claims.
The 27-year-old champion dedicated the win to her brother Levi, who was stabbed to death in Brisbane last month.
“I freaked out a bit with the cut in the first round and felt the blood in my eye but I was just trying to stay calm,” said Johnson, who is fighting from Melbourne.
“I knew that if I stuck to my jab and didn’t get into a fight, I could get through it.
“I’m dedicating this to my brother and I’m so glad I got the job done – I know he’s right here in my corner.”
– with AAP
https://7news.com.au/sport/boxing/george-kambosos-jr-falls-short-in-bloody-war-as-devin-haney-retains-world-titles-c-8560607 Devin Haney vs. George Kambosos Jr.: The American retains the world title as the Australian fighter falls short in a bloody rematch