Marvel Stadium hosted a boxing spectacle rarely seen on Australian shores but the world is begging George Kambosos not to run it back.
George Kambosos Jr. brought a massive spectacle to Melbourne on Sunday but the boxing world isn’t rushing to run it back.
Devin Haney became the undisputed king of the lightweight division with a dominant unanimous decision win on the back of his jab and quick feet.
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Keeping distance between himself and Kambosos, Haney controlled the fight and didn’t allow it to be turned into a brawl by the Australian.
Kambosos’ time at the top of the lightweight division may have only lasted seven-and-a-half months but the Aussie made the most of his time in the spotlight.
With a contract tilted in his favour, Kambosos will reportedly take home $10 million but it’s another detail in the deal that will interest him more. The contract has a rematch clause in it for another fight between Kambosos and Haney in Australia.
In his press conference after the fight, Kambosos’ promoter Lou DiBella said the 28-year-old can choose to activate the clause, but he’s giving the vanquished champion and his team some time to process Sunday’s loss.
Haney’s promoter Bob Arum said the clause allows for the rematch to take place in Australia but it could be in Melbourne, Brisbane or Sydney.
When Kambosos was asked if he’d exercise the rematch clause, he was unequivocal.
“End of November, we can do it again,” Kambosos said. “I gave him (Haney) the shot. No one else was gonna give him a shot.
“There was too much politics involved for him and Lopez or him and Lomachenko, but I straight away was a man of my word and said, ‘OK, let’s just make sure it makes sense’.
“Obviously he’s gonna want to make sure it makes sense on his end, but (I said), ‘Let’s get it done. Let’s give the fans a great fight. Let’s fight’.”
For Haney, at just 23, there will be a chance to go up a weight to super lightweight in his future and why not when you’ve conquered the lightweight division?
“I gotta talk with my dad, Bob (Arum), Top Rank, and see what’s next, what makes the most sense,” Haney said. “At the end of the day, I’m a disciplined fighter, but everything’s gotta make sense.
“At the end of the day this is a business. The world knows me, they know my character, and I’m not ducking or dodging nobody, but everything’s gotta make sense.
“If they’re up for it, then I’m up for it. This is a business, and before the fight, (Kambosos) told me, ‘It’s gotta make sense’. I made sure me and my team did everything that made it make sense. Whether I had to take less money, travel, come without my dad, we made a lot of sacrifices to make the fight happen. It all paid off.”
But the boxing world was struggling to see how a rematch makes sense.
It may not have ended with a statement KO but Haney was dominant behind his jab and claimed a comfortable victory.
While it may seem like the best thing for Kambosos to do would be to go again and try to win the belts back immediately, social media was awash with fans and pundits begging him not to.
Many of the comments talking down another fight between Kambosos and Haney came from America.
Combat sports journalist Ariel Helwani tweeted: “Kambosos has a rematch clause but not sure how they’ll sell this to the Aussie public again in a few months. That was quite one-sided.”
Robert Littal wrote: “Please Kambosos don’t exercise the rematch clause. Doesn’t have the power, speed or skill to deal with a locked in Haney. Just would be a repeat of what happened tonight. Let’s all move on to different things.”
ESPN’s Mike Coppinger added: “George Kambosos is owed a rematch with Devin Haney later this year in Australia, and it’s not unfair after he did agree to give the American the shot. But after 12 mostly lopsided rounds, a rematch is a hard sell.”
US boxing expert Dan Rafael said: “Kambosos has a rematch clause. No thanks.”
Combat sports analyst Luke Thomas tweeted: “Kambosos’s team better get creative in trying to sell a rematch. Haney took him seriously and Kambosos presented a consistent threat, but his offence was barely a part of this fight.”
Even other fighters don’t want a rematch to happen.
Errol Spence tweeted: “Shouldn’t be a rematch tho lol”.
Badou Jack wrote: “No need for a rematch.”
Sergio Mora added: “Contractual rematch clauses should have ‘clauses’. NO Rematch unless needed, demanded or marketable.”
Erickson Lubin said: “Good work from Devin, I don’t see the rematch being no different, congrats champ. Undisputed!”
Arum and DiBella debated the benefit of the rematch clause during their post-fight press conferences.
Arum has been an outspoken critic of rematch clauses in the past, taking aim at Eddie Hearn and his Matchroom Promotions.
DiBella said it was “promotional malpractice” not to get a rematch clause into a contract, even though most people don’t like them.
Arum replied: “At Top Rank, we don’t look to give rematch clauses. You win, you win; you lose, you lose.”
Arum was then asked if Kambosos should chase the rematch clause.
“Of course he should,” Arum said. “There was always a possibility that Kambosos would lose the fight, which he did. Therefore why wouldn’t you want to have a rematch clause?
“What I think is bad for boxing is like there’s a promoter in England named Eddie Hearn. You can’t do a fight with him unless you sign a rematch clause. That’s not good.
“I think that rematch clauses are bad for boxing. I understand why fighters and promoters want them, it’s business but it’s bad for the sport.”