Devin Haney has put on a boxing masterclass against George Kambosos Jr in a unanimous decision win over the Australian at Marvel Stadium.
The 23-year-old became the new WBO, WBA, IBF, The Ring and WBC champion after the three judges scored the fight 116-112, 118-110 and 118-110.
Despite the bad blood between the two camps in the lead-up and immediately after the fight, Kambosos was gracious in defeat, personally handing the belts to his American opponent.
AS IT HAPPENED: Haney claims unanimous decision win over Kambosos Jr
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“I take my hat off to him because he’s a true warrior. Anybody that steps in the ring, I respect,” Haney said after his win.
“It was nothing but respect through the whole build-up. Even though he got disrespectful, I stayed a gentleman and I stayed professional.
“I want to thank George Kambosos and all of Australia for coming out. Thank you George for giving me the shot. A lot of these so-called champions, they wouldn’t give me my shot, but George was a true champion and he gave me my shot, so thank you for this.”
Following the loss, Kambosos paid credit to Haney, saying he wanted to avoid doing what Teofimo Lopez did to him last year after his own title win.
“This is amazing for the sport, amazing for this country,” the beaten Aussie said.
“I’m going to give him full respect after his victory, and we’ll do it again. I’m not going to wreck his moment. I had my moment last November and it got wrecked.
“He just boxed his game. I’m going to change a few things and get him back later this year. I take the risk, I fight the best of the best. Not many wanted to fight him, but I gave him a shot.”
Haney was buoyed by the 11th-hour arrival of his father, Bill, who touched down in Australia less than 24 hours before his son’s big fight.
“This is a dream come true,” Haney said of his father’s presence.
“I was going through it without my dad being here because this was a big moment for us. I thank god that we were able to accomplish this together.”
Haney was able to get ahead in the fight early through his potent left jab and admitted he was happy to play defence towards the latter stages of the fight as the Australian chased a knockout.
“I was comfortable, I was just sticking to the game plan,” he said.
“I took the last round off just because I knew I was comfortably ahead. I fought a good smart fight. I handicapped him of his best things.”
The two fighters are likely to meet again later this year having signed a two-fight deal.
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