By Sean Jones: George Kambosos Jr. appeared to come to the defense of Devin Haney on Wednesday in response to promoter Bob Arum saying that Vasily Lomachenko is better known in Australia than Devin is and would be a “bigger” match for the undisputed lightweight champion.
In response to Arum saying that Lomachenko is a more prominent name in Australia, Kambosos Jr. fired back at the wise promoter by saying that his fans are coming to see him, not Loma or Haney.
Whether this comment means that Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) has selected WBC lightweight champion Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) as his next opponent is unclear. But for Kambosos Jr. to fire back at Arum the way he did, one could quickly come to that conclusion.
Has Kambosos already picked Haney?
If Kambosos and his promoter Lou DiBella have already made up their minds to take the Haney fight over Lomachenko (16-2, 11 KOs), it makes sense to start building him up.
Haney is the easier and more winnable fight of the two for Kambosos, as he’d likely lose to Lomachenko, especially with the way he’s looked recently.
Considering that Kambosos would be fighting in front of his own Aussie fans, potentially in a stadium capped at 50% capacity due to COVID restrictions in Australia, you could understand why he might prefer facing Haney rather than Lomachenko.
The way that Lomachenko forces many of his opponents to quit, Kambosos would potentially be put in a bad situation if he were to defend against the talented former three-division world champion Loma rather than face Haney, who is more of a light-hitting hit & run type of spoiler.
The Kambosos vs. Haney fight winner would have the bragging rights to say they’re the undisputed lightweight champion.
Kambosos reacts to Arum
“Mr. Arum with all due respect they’re not coming in to watch Haney or Lomachenko, they are coming to watch their Emperor return home with all the belts after Taking Over boxing. These belts are Australia’s & Greece’s and they’re going to need an army to take them off us 🇬🇷🇦🇺🏟” said Kambosos Jr. on Twitter.
The bragging for the Kambosos-Haney winner would be empty and shallow, given that the knowledgable hardcore boxing fans view Lomachenko as the #1 fighter in the division, not Haney and not Kambosos.
As such, the winner of a fight between Haney and Kambosos would have the undisputed championships, but they wouldn’t be viewed as the best. For them to be the best in the true sense and not on paper, the Kambosos vs. Haney winner would need to beat these fighters:
- Vasily Lomachenko
- Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis
- Michel Rivera
- Ryan Garcia
It’s similar to Canelo Alvarez’s situation at 168. He beat a bunch of paper champions from England and another from Tennessee to become undisputed. Still, he failed to fight David Benavidez, widely recognized as the #1 fighter at 168.
You can argue that the fans that would be impressed with the Kambosos vs. Haney winner being recognized as the undisputed lightweight champion are people that are in the dark about the existence of Lomachenko.
In other words, the casual fans would be impressed with the winner of the Kambosos vs. Haney fight being named the undisputed champion at 135, but not the hardcore fans that keep up with the sport.
Arum says “nobody knows” Haney
“Nobody knows who Devin Haney is in Australia,” said Arum to Fighthype. “Lomachenko would be a much bigger match in Australia than Devin Haney would be.”
“He [Haney] hasn’t had any exposure. Everybody that follows boxing around the world, including Australia, knows Lomachenko,” said Arum.
I don’t know why Arum’s comments about Haney would trigger Kambosos to fire back at him about who the crowds come to see. Is Kambosos saying that the Australian fans don’t prefer who he faces? Why wouldn’t they?
Fans from every country have preferences, don’t they? Are fans different in Australia? If I were Australian, I’d prefer to see Kambosos fight the far more accomplished and well-known Lomachenko. He’s a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a former three-division world champion.
Haney has won only one division title, and that was the one that he was emailed by the WBC. Haney didn’t win his WBC title inside the ring.
Also, Haney didn’t win an Olympic gold medal. Heck, Haney never fought in the Olympics. The ONLY thing Haney has going for him is his WBC lightweight title that he was elevated to outside of the ring. Other than his WBC strap and his unbeaten record, Haney doesn’t have much going for him to put him above Lomachenko.
Lomachenko is the best at 135, and you can also make a strong argument that Michel Rivera and Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis would make easy work of Kambosos and Haney as well.
Australia capping crowds at 50% capacity?
Kambosos’ boasts about a stadium in Australia waiting to be filled for his next fight in April may need to be tempered with the reality of what’s taking place currently with the COVID restrictions.
Crowds at the Australian open were capped at 50% capacity due to the COVID 19 restrictions for that country. Needless to say, if the 50% capacity restrictions apply to stadiums for boxing fans in Australia, Kambosos may need to downsize his boasts about how many fans will turn up to watch him fight in his home country.
If crowds are limited to 50% capacity in Australia, it doesn’t make sense for Haney or Lomachenko to bother traveling there to fight Kambosos.
I wonder if Kambosos is aware of the crowds capped at 50% at the Australian Open. Assuming the masses are capped for stadiums at 50%, it’s pointless for Haney or Lomachenko to fight over there.
Unless packed capacity crowds are allowed in Australia, it doesn’t make sense for Haney or Lomachenko to bother traveling there to fight Kambosos. It would be better for Kambosos to take “them beautiful belts” if his to the United States to defend against one of those two.
The cap on crowds in Australia makes that country not the ideal place for Haney or Lomachenko to travel to for a fight with Kambosos.