George Kambosos Jr. declined to go the deception and Art of War route this time around at the scales.
The former lineal and unified lightweight titlist only needed one try to come within the divisional limit for his repeat showdown with Devin Haney. Kambosos appeared in peak condition as he weighed a ripped and lean 134.04 pounds, while Las Vegas’ Haney arrived at a shredded 134.81 pounds in defense of the undisputed lightweight championship.
“We put in the work,” noted Kambosos. “That’s a statement right there and we’ll make a statement (in the ring) tomorrow.”
The scheduled twelve-round rematch is set, though preceded by shoving on stage between the two as they jockeyed for position nfor the cameras after easily making weight. The championship clash takes place Saturday evening on ESPN (Sunday afternoon local time) from Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. The venue is mere minutes from Marvel Stadium, where Haney soundly outpointed Kambosos in their June 5 full unification bout. Haney defended his WBC title while claiming the lineal/WBA ‘Super’/IBF/WBO championship in the process.
Their clash required Kambosos (20-1, 10KOs) to twice weigh in to clear the 135-pound division limit. His first attempted title defense saw the fighting pride of Sydney weigh 135.36 pounds on the first try. He came back less than two hours later to clock in at 134.49, shedding nearly a full pound during the extended time period at which point he alleged it to all be part of a master plan.
“The art of war, baby. Deception,” Kambosos insisted at the time.
Haney didn’t pay it any mind, dominating Kambosos in his first fight outside of North America. The rematch—coming courtesy of Kambosos activating a contract clause in search of revenge—will mark his sixth overall defense of the WBC title and first as the undisputed lightweight champion.
“We gotta fight,” stated Haney. “We’re gonna get it on tomorrow night. May the best man win.”
As was the case four months ago, the undercard will also feature the Moloney twins—Jason and Andrew—in separate bouts as both brace for title runs in 2023.
Kingscliff’s Jason Moloney (24-2, 19KOs) was 117.83 pounds for his scheduled twelve-round bout with Thailand’s Nawaphon Sor Rungvisai (56-1-1, 46KOs), who checked in at 117.39 pounds. The bout is a sanctioned WBC bantamweight title eliminator, with the winner to become the mandatory challenger. The belt is currently held by three-division champ and pound-for-pound entrant Naoya Inoue (23-0, 20KOs), who also holds the WBA, IBF and lineal championships as he prepares for a clash with WBO titlist Paul Butler for the undisputed crown on December 13 in Tokyo.
The 31-year-old Moloney has won three straight since an October 2020 knockout loss to Inoue. He came up big on the undercard of Haney-Kambosos I, scoring a third-round knockout of former title challenger Aston Palicte.
Andrew Moloney (24-2, 16KOs) also enjoyed an early knockout on that show, stopping Alexander Espinoza in the second round of a junior bantamweight clash. The win was his third straight since going 0-2 with one No-Decision in his trilogy with Joshua Franco (18-1-2, 8KOs) which began with the San Antonio native taking Moloney’s secondary WBA junior bantamweight title in June 2020.
An active rebuilding process has followed. Andrew Moloney fights for the fourth time since that series, the latest coming in a ten-round clash with former title challenger Norbelto Jimenez (31-9-6, 16KOs). Both weighed under the 115-pound divisional limit; Moloney was 114 ¾ pounds, while Dominican Republic’s Jimenez was 114.97 pounds.
Below are the weights for the rest of the undercard.
Cherneka Johnson (14-1, 6KOs), Melbourne, 121.03 pounds vs. Susie Ramadan (29-3, 12KOs), Preston, Victoria, 119.38 pounds—10 rounds, junior featherweight
Hemi Ahio (19-0, 14KOs), Auckland, New Zealand, 243.39 pounds vs. Faiga Opelu (14-3-1, 10KOs), Camira, Queensland, 223.87 pounds—8 rounds, heavyweight
David Nyika (4-0, 3KOs), Hamilton, New Zealand, 199.73 pounds vs. Titi Motusaga (4-0, 3KOs), Auckland, New Zealand, 196.98 pounds—6 rounds, cruiserweight
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox
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