Pick It: World Champion George Kambosos vs. TBRB #4 Devin Haney (Saturday, ESPN, 10:00 PM EST)

Being honest, the three best fights over the next few days are all must-see. This one gets the top spot because it will have an event atmosphere that dwarfs its peers.

Some 50,000 fans will pack into the stands in Melbourne to see unexpected 28-year old lightweight king George Kambosos (20-0, 10 KO) bring his title home. 23-year old Devin Haney (27-0, 15 KO) is traveling with every intent to bring it back to the States with him. Is this a coronation or is Kambosos one of those fighters who ends up being more than anyone saw coming? His title win over Teofimo Lopez may already make him that but if Kambosos can also knock off Haney it would be quite the statement. For Haney, the statement will be in going into a hostile crowd without all of his familiar corner and having the nerves to make what appears to be a gap in skill and talent shine through the obstacle of giving up home court. This might not be the action fight of the week, but it’s going to be a hell of a spectacle.       

Additional Shows to Watch For

Saturday - #4 Ogawa vs. Cordina (DAZN, 2:00 PM EST)

Japan’s 34-year old Kenichi Ogawa (26-1-1, 18 KO) is set to make his first defense of the IBF belt at Jr. lightweight with passport in hand. He’s headed to Cardiff where the Welsh faithful will be pulling for 30-year old local son and 2016 Olympian Joe Cordina (14-0, 8 KO) to win his first major title. Cordina has been brought along well and Ogawa will be a good test. This could be a fun scrap.    

Saturday - #1 Fulton vs. #3 Roman (Showtime, 9:00 PM EST)  

If Kambosos-Haney is the event of the week in the boxing world, this is the most savory steak on the menu. 32-year old Daniel Roman (29-3-1, 10 KO) narrowly lost a pair of belts at Jr. featherweight to Murodjon Akhmadaliev and has won two straight. 27-year old Stephen Fulton (20-0, 8 KO) has won the WBO and WBC belts in consecutive fights and defeated four straight undefeated fighters. The “0” ain’t everything as Roman on paper is the best opponent of his career. Exciting super middleweight David Morrell will also be in action.

Tuesday - #1 Inoue vs. Donaire (ESPN, 5:30 AM EST)  

This one has elements of big event and big fight married to a rematch of the 2019 Fight of the Year. The day and start time could make this hard to watch for some but it will be worth the early rise. 29-year old IBF/WBA bantamweight titlist Naoya Inoue (22-0, 19 KO) has been in limbo for too much of the last three years, his career path derailed in part by COVID. He has a chance to unify titles for the second time with now-WBC titlist Nonito Donaire (42-6, 28 KO). The aging future Hall of Famer remains dangerous. Can he land the biggest knockout shot of his career with retirement knocking? Or does Inoue remind the world why he is so highly regarded?  

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com