Devin Haney picked up where he left off in the rematch with a second unanimous-decision victory over George Kambosos Jr. to retain the undisputed lightweight championship Sunday afternoon in Melbourne, Australia. The scores were 119-109, 118-110 and 118-110.
Haney (29-0, 15 KOs), 23, of San Francisco, dominated Kambosos in their first fight, though two of the scorecards were closer than it appeared to warrant (the judges had it 116-112, 118-110 and 116-112). He was more dominant in the rematch.
“I knew he was looking for the jab so I wanted to show other tools in the arsenal,” Haney said after the fight. ” … The right hand won me the fight tonight.”
Wilder stops Helenius in Round 1
Very few things on Earth are as destructive as Deontay Wilder’s right hand.
The former heavyweight champion returned to the ring with a thunderous punch that stopped Robert Helenius in the opening round of their bout Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs), 36, of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was making his return to the ring for the first time since he lost to Tyson Fury last October. It was Wilder’s 42nd knockout in 43 career victories.
Helenius (31-4, 20 KOs), 38, of Stockholm, had won three consecutive fights before losing to Wilder.
Haney-Kambosos round-by-round analysis:
Round 12: Haney cruises to the finish line and avoids much damage save for a cut over his right eye from a clash of heads. Easy fight to score for the judges. 10-9, Haney. 120-109, Haney.
Round 11: Kambosos pushing forward trying to make something happen, but it appears to be too little, too late. Haney heads into the final round with a commanding lead. 10-9, Haney. 110-100, Haney.
Round 10: Haney carving up Kambosos’ face, which is covered in blood. The champion is clearly pushing for the finish as he tees off on Kambosos with clean lefts and rights. The only drama that remains surrounds Haney’s ability to close the show here. 10-9, Haney. 100-91, Haney.
Round 9: And now Kambosos with a deep cut over his left eye that’s bleeding freely, the result of those sharp Haney right hands. Haney picking Kambosos apart with the jab. 10-9, Haney. 90-82, Haney.
Round 8: A clash of heads leaves both men with cuts. Haney is cut over his right eye while Kambosos has a gash by his ear. Haney is starting to let his hands go more. 10-9, Haney. 80-73, Haney.
Round 7: Haney in total control and really busting up Kambosos’ left eye. No answers from the Australian whatsoever. 10-9, Haney. 70-64, Haney.
Round 6: Haney’s best round of the fight. More of the same from the first meeting in June. Walking Kambosos into big shots now, both right-hand leads and left hooks. Kambosos growing frustrated. 10-9, Haney. 60-55, Haney.
Round 5: Kambosos’ left eye swelling up as he continues to eat jabs and right hands. Much like the first fight, Kambosos content to sit on the outside against the rangier Haney. 10-9, Haney. 50-46, Haney.
Round 4: Kambosos is not letting his hands go once again. Finally landed a good right hand in the closing seconds, but Haney clinched. Kambosos will have a hard time winning rounds if he can’t find a way to work on the inside. 10-9, Haney. 40-37, Haney.
Round 3: Haney punctuates a dominant round with a clean right hand. Once again, Kambosos is unable to close distance or establish himself on the inside. He’s following Haney around the ring. 10-9, Haney. 30-28, Haney.
Round 2: Both guys missing wildly with their shots. Haney appears to be throwing with more power but he’s gotten away from his excellent jab that dominated the first fight. 10-9, Haney. 20-19, Haney.
Round 1: Kambosos begins the bout far more aggressively than the last time, switching stances while applying pressure. No punches of consequence landed in a feeling-out opening round. 10-10
In New York: Caleb Plant stops Anthony Dirrell in Round 9
The fight between Caleb Plant and Anthony Dirrell was ugly from start to finish — even with an amazing one-punch knockout.
Plant stopped Dirrell in the ninth with a vicious left hook that severely hurt Dirrell. Plant then proceeded to mimic digging Dirrell’s grave in the ring, which referee Harvey Dock attempted to stop while ringside physicians immediately cared for Dirrell.
Plant (22-1, 12 KOs) and Dirrell were winging power punches in the first round, a sign that the acrimonious comments in the buildup just weren’t about selling a pay-per-view card. Eventually, both fighters became more wary of each other in the third and fourth rounds. Plant, eight years younger than Dirrell (34-3-2, 25 KOs), was clearly the faster fighter. But he was hesitant to let his hands go with Dirrell looking for opportunities to throw counters.
The fans inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn became noticeably fed up in the seventh round and booed heavily as both guys circled each other. Both fighters didn’t seem to have a great idea of how to attack the other. It led to a lot of clinches and roughhousing that kept Dock busy. After the seventh round, trainer Stephen Edwards told Plant to ignore the crowd that clearly wanted to see more from both men.
The real winner of this fight? David Benavidez. If Benavidez is angling to fight the winner, he has to like his odds based on what he saw on Saturday night.
In New York: Heavyweight Sanchez stops Negron, stays unbeaten
Frank Sanchez continued his ascent in the heavyweight division. The former Cuban defector earned a ninth-round TKO over Carlos Negron.
Sanchez (22-0, 14 KOs) started out aggressively, to the point that his trainer, Joe Goossen, was a little hesitant about that strategy. Negron (25-4, 20 KOs) battled throughout the fight and actually held his own in the back half of the fight.
But Sanchez still controlled the action. From the sixth round onward, he outlanded Negron 68 to 46. In three of those rounds, Sanchez landed more than 50% of his power shots. He closed the show by pouring on the punches with Negron on the ropes. A clean left hook forced the referee to stop the fight and give Sanchez another victory.
The 30-year-old is clearly one of the most intriguing heavyweights. He stated his case for better competition in 2023 and beyond. — Baby
In Australia: Jason Moloney dominates Nawaphon Kaikanha
Jason Moloney scored a unanimous-decision victory over Nawaphon Kaikanha in a WBC bantamweight title eliminator. The scores: 118-110, 118-110 and 119-109.
With the victory, Moloney (25-2, 19 KOs) is now in line for a third crack at a 118-pound title. Moloney’s first title challenge came in 2018, a split-decision loss to Emmanuel Rodriguez.
In 2020, Moloney, a 31-year-old Australian, was routed by Naoya Inoue via seventh-round KO in a second title shot. Inoue will defend the WBC title — along with two others — when he meets Paul Butler on Dec. 13 in Japan for the undisputed bantamweight championship.
Inoue has said he will move up to 122 pounds after the Butler fight, so Moloney could vie for a vacant title.
Against Kaikanha, Moloney boxed from the outside in a bout that feature little action. Kaikanha (56-2-1, 46 KOs) was boxing outside Thailand for the first time. The 31-year-old’s only other defeat came in his lone title shot, a third-round TKO defeat to Juan Hernandez Navarrete in 2017 at 112 pounds. — Coppinger
In New York: Rodriguez dominates Russell in technical decision
Emmanuel Rodriguez dazzled in a dominating upset victory over Gary Antonio Russell. Rodriguez used a sharp, chopping right hand to hurt Russell often in a technical decision, handing Russell his first professional loss. The bout was called after ringside physicians ruled Rodriguez couldn’t continue following an accidental head-butt in the ninth round. The official scorecards had the Puerto Rican ahead 100-90, 99-91, 99-93.
Things got weird starting in the eighth round. Rodriguez put Russell (19-1, 12 KOs) down at the end of the round. Russell stumbled to his feet and beat referee Benjy Esteves’s 10 count. However, the bell for the round never rang and there was confusion on whether it ended.
Once things finally restarted, Russell recovered before he and Rodriguez (21-2, 13 KOs) clashed heads. Rodriguez went down and finished the round. The doctors opted to call the bout at the start of the 10th.
It’s not the first time these two men have been involved in controversy. This was a rematch of their August 2021 bout that ended as a no-contest after they clashed heads 16 seconds into the fight and Rodriguez wasn’t able to continue. — Baby
In Australia: Andrew Moloney dominates Jimenez in decision win
Andrew Moloney dropped Norbelto Jimenez twice en route to a unanimous decision victory in a 10-round junior bantamweight bout. The scores: 97-90, 98-89 and 99-88.
Moloney (25-2, 16 KOs) knocked down Jimenez with a jab in the closing seconds of Round 1. Jimenez, 31, a former title challenger from Dominican Republic, was also penalized one point in the opening round for hitting on the break, placing him in an early hole on the cards.
The point deduction was questionable. The referee never issued a warning. In Round 2, Jimenez was on the canvas again, this time from a cuffing right hand in what appeared to be a dubious knockdown call from the official.
Andrew Moloney, the twin brother of Jason Moloney, beat Jimenez (31-9-6, 16 KOs) to the punch throughout the fight and inflicted plenty of damage to the body with precise shots. The 31-year-old Australian was competing on the undercard of Haney and Kambosos for the second consecutive outing.
In June, Moloney scored a second-round TKO of Alexander Espinoza. — Coppinger
In Australia: Johnson retains title with decision win
It was clearly not an easy night for Cherneka Johnson in the first defense of her IBF junior featherweight title. An accidental clash of heads caused a nasty, blood-spewing cut on her left forehead in the second round. Her opponent, Susie Ramadan, had two points deducted — one for not listening to the referee and another for hitting Johnson in the back of the head.
None of that mattered, as Johnson took a 97-90, 96-92, 96-91 unanimous decision over Ramadan after knocking her opponent down in the fourth round and adjusting to the cut. Her white top looked tie-dyed red by the end of the fight.
Johnson (15-1, 6 KOs), ESPN’s No. 4 junior featherweight, dominated the fight despite the cut. The 27-year-old moved well against Ramadan (29-4, 12 KOs), mixing up her cadences and her punches to fluster the former WBC bantamweight champion.
It’s a good start for Johnson, who was born in New Zealand but lives in Melbourne, Australia, to set up intriguing fights down the road. A fight against 24-year-old Yamileth Mercado, the WBC champion who fights Mariana Juarez later Saturday night in Mexico, could be an option for Johnson if she keeps winning. — Michael Rothstein