Photo of Kambosos vs. Haney by Darren Burns
“Me and my team do our best to make sure there are neutral and fair judges,” Devin Haney told Cigar Talk (via The Boxing Scene) last April.
Hany is right.
I saw a scam last year in London when Connor Hatton, son of former world champion Ricky, “lost” five of six rounds to virtual unknown Sammi Martinez. As I watched, I dreaded the predictable outcome. No way a Hatton could lose at home.
He made the one-point decision.
I blurted out a four letter word.
Even the pro-Hatton crowd booed.
Haney will face WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring lightweight title holder George Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) this Saturday (Sunday in the US) at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.
Kambosos will be the hometown guy this Saturday. Everyone and his brother (and sister) will support him against Haney (27-0, 15 KOs).
The big question is that of the judges.
“We’re going to create an even playing field,” Haney said. “That was all I asked for. I just want fair judges. I didn’t want anything else.
A few days ago, word got out that Haney’s team got three neutral judges for the fight. No Aussies or Yanks.
In 2014, Mauricio Herrera traveled to Puerta Rico to face heavily favored (10-1) world champion Danny Garcia. In the best shape of his life and motivated to prove the naysayers wrong, Herrera frustrated the champion all night.
He fought smart, hit the body constantly, and landed more punches. Garcia connected with the heaviest shots, but Herrera controlled most of the fight, it seemed.
Two judges had Garcia win the fight by four points, while the third scored the fight a draw.
Showtime commentators Al Bernstein, Paulie Malignaggi and Steve Farhood all had Herrera win the fight.
The crummy decision was hardly shocking. Garcia, making his Puerto Rico debut, had been serenaded for weeks before the fight.
The home crowd cheered every move of the defending champions.
In a perfect world, Herrera deserved to win the fight. But boxing is far from perfect, especially in his judging.
Five years ago, Manny Pacquiao fought local Australian hero Jeff Horn in Brisbane. The fight was a grueling affair. Horn got the decision, even though Pacquiao knocked him from pillar to pillar in the ninth round.
Most boxing insiders, including some former boxers, believed Pacquiao had done enough to deserve the verdict.
It doesn’t matter – it was Horn who celebrated.
Kambosos deified the odds last December by upsetting Teofimo Lopez. He fought an extremely determined fight. Kambosos will be comfortable this Saturday, while Haney will be without his head coach, his father (visa denied) and fight in front of a hostile crowd. Haney capitulated to virtually every request made by the Kambosos team.
He is either reckless or extremely confident.
I will go with the latter.
Kambosos turned badass as fight day approached. He called Haney a three-letter word at a recent press conference.
“This guy is a rat,” Kambosos said. “Teofimo Lopez fought a stranger, he was texting me. He was telling me all the details.
Haney looked amused.
“When is the act going to stop,” Haney said. “We can see through. Be yourself, that’s all you have to do. Be you. You act.
So who wins?
Haney doesn’t hit very hard (he’s gone the distance in his last three fights) so I expect the fight to go to the limit. He will box and use angles and distance. He is faster and better technically.
Kambosos will stalk and hope to switch. He is angry and full of heart. Stunning Haney a few times might be enough to sway the judges.
I like that Haney wins by a point or two.