George Kambosos Jr will attempt to win back his lightweight world titles in a rematch with Devin Haney — and says he will walk away if he doesn’t succeed.
- George Kambosos will take on Devin Haney on October 16 at Rod Laver Arena
- Haney won the first fight by unanimous decision
- Kambosos said it was “better” being the underdog
“I’ve always been like that. No plan B, do or die and, if I’m not victorious, adios Ferocious Kambosos,” the 29-year-old told ABC News.
“But, I’m one victory away from being at the top again and being the undisputed champion.”
The judges scored the first fight 116-112, 116-112, 118-110 in a lopsided contest, making Haney the first unified lightweight champion in the four-belt era.
“I was actually humbled by it [the defeat],” Kambosos said.
“It refreshes me. Maybe I needed this loss. It was time for me to lose and to bounce back.”
Despite being comprehensively outclassed in that first meeting, Kambosos held true to his promise to trigger the rematch, which will take place at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena on October 16 with the WBO, WBA, WBC, IBF and The Ring belts on the line.
“[Taking the rematch is] about proving something to myself but also being a great role model for my kids.
“It’s for my kids to see that, ‘you know what, dad failed on one thing but he came back and was victorious again’.”
Haney was a cut above at Docklands in June, meaning Kambosos will be a heavy underdog coming into the rematch — a fact that barely bothers the Australian.
“It’s better for me [being the underdog],” Kambosos said.
“[It’s] where I’ve been my whole career. I love that underdog mentality. I lost that in my last fight, I didn’t have that.
“We’ve made our changes and we’ll adapt, I’m sure he’s going to make his changes as well.
“I’ll do my talking in the ring.”
Kambosos, who said he was in a good space and enjoyed being written off as it allowed him to train in peace, put the pressure back on Haney, acknowledging that while his style was effective, it wouldn’t earn him too many fans.
“If he wants to be a pay-per-view star he’ll be expected to show a little bit more rather than just the jab and the hold and the ducking and the running,” Kambosos said.
“I hope he does bring a bit more of an approach for the fans, for boxing.
“But we’ll be ready for whatever way.”
The lightweight division is arguably the hottest in boxing at the moment, with several contenders circling for the belts that were briefly in Kambosos’s possession.
Ukranian three-weight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko (16-2) and unbeaten American pair Jervonta Davis (27-0) and Ryan Garcia (23-0) are all considered among the best around and will be eyeing up the winner of this contest.
Previous unified champion Teófimo López (17-1), who George Kambosos spectacularly beat at Madison Square Garden in a monumental upset in late 2021, is also a contender, but has since fought at super lightweight and would struggle to get back down to 135lb (61.2kg).