George Kambosos vs Devin Haney crowd silenced with a smile in Melbourne

American star Devin Haney was prepared to be showered in a chorus of boos, but he soon flipped the script in devastating fashion.

There is absolutely no doubt Devin Haney deserved to be crowned the undisputed lightweight champion of the world.

The 23-year-old American is the eighth and easily the youngest undisputed champ in the four-belt era and the first at lightweight.

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It’s a seriously impressive feat for someone so young and with so much more to give as he put on a boxing masterclass against George Kambosos Jr on Sunday.

Even the Aussie had to hand it to Haney, giving up his belts in the ring so the Las Vegas-based champ could have his moment in the sun.

There was almost nothing Haney had going for him leading into the fight. He had to visit hostile territory without his dad and head trainer Bill until an 11th hour reprieve from authorities, after he was originally barred from obtaining a visa because of a 1992 drug conviction.

The vocal Aussie crowd of 41,129 — the second biggest boxing crowd ever seen on these shores behind only Jeff Horn vs Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium — was believed to be Kambosos’ ace in the hole.

Having fought the latter part of his career overseas, Kambosos wanted to bring his first title defence home and try to ride a wave of emotion.

And for Haney, all he could expect were boos.

The Marvel Stadium crowd was so amped up, boos rained down during the singing of the American national anthem from some sections of the audience.

As legendary boxing announcer Michael Buffer announced Haney’s arrival to the ring, the boos hit fever pitch and nearly drowned out DMX’s X Gon’ Give It To Ya blaring out over the speakers.

But Haney was nowhere to be seen.

The crowd quietened down as it became clear Haney was not yet on his way and the ring walk announcement had gone off early. The American was still getting ready backstage, only leaving the changerooms halfway through the first playing of the song.

Main Event commentators were waiting for the entrance, as Gerard Whateley finally said: “Sometimes you have to milk the moment.

“There is an electricity in the stadium like I’ve rarely experienced.”

Social media was similarly confused by Haney’s no-show.

Boxing commentator Crystina Poncher asked: “Did Haney have to stop and pee on his way to the ring? Lol. Let’s goooooo!!!”

Combat sports writer Daniel Yanofsky tweeted: “Why did Devin Haney come out late for the fight? Art of war, deception,” making fun of Kambosos’ comments after failing his first weigh-in.

CBC’s Morgan Campbell joked: “They give Haney the wrong directions to the ring?”

Journalist Kevin Iole wrote: “All right, give Kambosos a win in ring walk speed. He was Usain Bolt compared to Haney.”

Whateley said it well, adding: “I wonder if a man ever truly knows how he’ll feel in a hostile environment, the theory is one thing.”

By the time Haney finally started his walk, it was the third playing of X Gon’ Give It To Ya and while the crowd gave a dutiful boo, there were also cheers for the young American.

As he hit the tunnel, a huge smile came across his face and he skipped down the tunnel flanked by his entourage.

Kambosos was hopeful of giving Australia something to roar about but Haney silenced the home fans by putting in a disciplined 12-round display, not giving his rival a sniff.

In the early stages of the fight after the early exuberance of the crowd began to wear off, Haney’s trademark jab really went to work and the world noted the crowd had been taken out of the equation. as the US sensation quickly gained the upper hand and kept it.

Former light middleweight champ Sergio Mora tweeted: “50,000+ SILENT in Melbourne!! Just as planned…for Haney.”

CBC’s Morgan Campbell commented: “50,000 Aussies in that stadium and you can hear individual voices at ringside. Haney got em silent…”

Post-fight, Haney said he didn’t feel the crowd was completely against him.

“It didn’t feel that bad. When I first came out they were kinda booing me, but I heard cheers and boos at the same time,” he said. “It was a hell of an experience; it was, like, crazy.

“I silenced the crowd pretty much. Maybe when I tripped and they went crazy. The fans were crazy, hell of an experience, and a dream come true of mine.”

Just as Haney broke out into a broad grin before entering the ring, his pearly whites were on display again at the end of the 12-round slugfest as Kambosos handed over his belts.

Winners really are grinners.

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