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George Kambosos Jr. is on the verge of boxing’s ultimate glory.

Just seven months after stunning Teofimo Lopez, the Aussie is ready to “shock the world again” this time against Devin Haney to become the undisputed lightweight champion.

And while it won’t come as much of a shock should Kambosos Jr raise his hand on Sunday, the Australian still doesn’t get much love from boxing pundits.

Watch one of Australia’s greatest boxing matches of all time: George Kambosos Jr vs. Devin Haney Sunday 5th June with Main Event on Kayo Sports. No Kayo subscription is required to place an order. ORDER NOW >


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Prominent boxing author Dan Rafael called Sunday’s fight a “huge opportunity” for both Kambosos Jr. and Haney, but said there was a key reason it was leaning towards the American.

“This is Devin Haney’s determined fight,” Rafael said on The Big Fight Weekend podcast.

“Not easy, not necessarily broad, no disrespect to Kambosos but like I’ve been saying for years and the words of my good mate Floyd Mayweather ring out – skills pay the bills – and George Kambosos has skills but Devin Haney has more skills, more speed , George is not a big puncher.

“This is the opportunity for Devin Haney to realize his dreams, take to the streets and make a decision. When an American fighter goes to Australia to fight for the titles and he’s the favourite, the bookies know what they’re doing.”


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Everything goes on the line on Sunday. (Photo by William WEST / AFP)Source: AFP

Yahoo Sports Columnist Kevin Iole agreed, predicting a Haney victory by decision after calling the American’s boxing “the big difference” in Sunday’s blockbuster fight.

“The fight will boil down to how Haney handles Kamboso’s pressure,” Iole wrote.

“Haney is a great boxer but he doesn’t have the power to keep Kambosos away. And so Kambosos, who overwhelmed the heavily favored Lopez with his pressure, is trying to do the same against Haney.

“In the early stages of the fight, Haney may need to hold his own and fight to earn Kambosos’ respect and slow his attack. If Haney can’t parry Kambosos’ attack, he will have to rely heavily on his legs.

“I see Haney’s boxing as the big difference here and I think he will put up a smart fight to neutralize Kambosos’ strengths. I take the evened money and play against him to win by decision.

Watch one of Australia’s greatest boxing matches of all time: George Kambosos Jr vs. Devin Haney Sunday 5th June with Main Event on Kayo Sports. No Kayo subscription is required to place an order. ORDER NOW >

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Kambosos Jr. got some support from former English boxer Tony Bellew, who was really torn over who to champion in his latest column DAZN.

“This is a real coin toss for me,” he wrote.

“If the fight was in America and Haney had his team in his corner I would support him but going to Australia is a whole different thing. That’s a real 50-50 for me and I can’t decide.”

Bellow reckons Haney is “more skillful” than Kambosos Jr.’s last opponent, Lopez, and presents a completely different challenge that could cause early trouble for the Aussie.

“Kambosos needs to earn his opponent’s respect early on, just like he did when he knocked down Lopez in the opening round,” Bellew wrote.

“If Haney is allowed to get into any rhythm then it could be a tough night for Kambosos.”


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George Kambosos Jr. is ready to shock the world again. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Former division champion and current ESPN Boxing analyst Timothy Bradley Jr. is leaning towards a split decision win for Haney.

But he admits it’s “crazy” that the American is the favorite and believes there’s a possibility Kambosos Jr could become Haney’s “worst nightmare”.

“The odds makers underestimate kambosos,” Bradley Jr. wrote.

“I think he’s like a snake charmer – in and out of the ring. He has a unique way of controlling his opponents, verbally abusing them and getting under their skin outside the ring while owning the center of the ring once inside.

“The whole game of Kambosos is based on manipulation and deceit. Kambosos doesn’t have the fastest hands like an Amir Khan or a Floyd Mayweather, but he’s quick and uses his opponent’s offense to his advantage.

“If you let Kambosos gain momentum and gain confidence, he can become your worst nightmare. The fact that he’s at home means he’s under pressure to perform.”

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Bradley Jr. broke down the fight, writing that counterattacking is one of the Aussie’s greatest strengths and that he has a sneaky way of getting his opponents to interfere in his game.

“He’s a counterattack and his bait, believe it or not, is his low guard,” Bradley wrote.

“If you look at his fights, you notice that he carries his hands a little low. The right hand is a little under his chin, the left hand is way down, and what people don’t realize is that it’s a bait. He lets you see holes and he wants you to throw punches so he can counter.”

That means Haney has to dictate the fight with his jab, with Bradley Jr. calling the jab “one of the most frustrating things for a counterattack” like Kambosos Jr.

“I see Haney has a chance to land his jab because if you look at the way Kambosos fights, a lot of his weight is on his front foot,” Bradley Jr. wrote.

“He leans forward a lot and is always ready to push off to explode, so a lot of the weight is shifted to his front leg. If he leans forward, it brings his face a little closer to the jab.

“And while all of that is designed to deceive to miss you and make you pay, he’s going to get his chin closer to the jab from Haney, who’s very accurate with his formed jab. He should be able to land it effectively against Kambosos.

“Whoever dominates the jab – not just throws, but percentage – will win the fight.”


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Kambosos Jr. stunned Lopez… now the jab will be key against Haney. Al Bello/Getty Images/AFPSource: AFP

While Kambosos Jr. doesn’t necessarily have to be the biggest puncher in the division, Bradley Jr. believes there could also be room for the Australian to uncover one of Haney’s weaknesses.

“I’m a little worried about Haney’s chin,” he wrote.

“I saw him get fueled by Diaz and I saw him get fueled really badly in the Linares fight. That’s two fights in a row. It was noticeable, so I’m just concerned about his ability to throw a big shot.

“And while Kambosos isn’t the biggest puncher, he hits hard enough.”

Nonetheless, Bradley Jr. also predicts a win for Haney on the scorecards, declaring the American is “made of a different cloth”.

“A judge will give Kambosos the fight, although Haney will likely win with three or four rounds on the other maps,” he wrote.

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If there’s one unknown factor that could work in Kambosos Jr.’s favor, it’s the way Haney is handling the “bad guy” tag that comes with fighting in front of a limited Australian audience.

CBS sports Columnist Brian Campbell believes that’s the “real question” hanging over Sunday’s fight.

“The real question boils down to whether the big stage and the pressure that comes with having to travel halfway around the world to be the hated visitor in a huge stadium will have a negative impact on someone as young as Haney,” Campbell wrote.

He also believes Kambosos Jr.’s “aggressive style of close-range combination hitting” could be the “perfect kryptonite” to break Haney.

With that, Campbell also predicts a Haney win by unanimous decision and tips the fight to go the distance.

Can Kambosos Jr pull off another upset? Al Bello/Getty Images/AFPSource: AFP

“As long as Haney can avoid being circumcised with something big, Kambosos has a fighting style that could be perfect for what Haney does best,” he wrote.

Haney may be the favorite and the pundits could back the American to get the job done on foreign soil, but Kambosos Jr is adopting the underdog mentality like he was against Lopez.

“I love underdog status, that’s okay,” Kambosos Jr. said earlier in the week.

“They’ve been against me my whole career, they’ve said that my whole career, so I’m still the frontrunner and after Sunday I’ll remain the frontrunner.

“It’s been a long, hard road, everyone knows that, but I’m ready for Sunday.

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