NEW YORK – George Kambosos Jr. turned down the first four opponents promoter Lou DiBella proposed for his fight Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
That’s not uncommon among boxers and managers attempting to protect their investments in a prospect’s career. Kambosos sought someone better, though, not a worse opponent.
The unbeaten lightweight prospect from Australia got just what he wanted from former champion Mickey Bey – a tougher fight. Kambosos still managed to remain unbeaten by scoring a 10-round split-decision victory over Bey on the Terence Crawford-Egidjius Kavaliauskas undercard.
Judges Mark Consentino (97-92) and Pasquale Procopio (96-93) scored their fight for Sydney’s Kambosos, who improved to 18-0 (10 KOs). Judge Bernard Bruni (95-94) had it for Bey (23-3-1, 11 KOs, 1 NC), a former IBF lightweight champ who hadn’t fought in more than 14 months before boxing Kambosos.
Kamobosos had some trouble catching Bey with power shots throughout the bout. He landed a right uppercut that caused a knockdown with 1:36 to go in their battle because Bey’s gloves touched the canvas to hold him up.
Bey made Kambosos miss with a lot of his power punches in the eighth and ninth rounds.
Kambosos backed up Bey with a left hook late in the seventh round. Bey knocked Kambosos off balance with a left hook earlier in the seventh.
Bey worked well off his jab in the fifth round, but Kambosos came out firing early in the sixth round. He landed a left-right combination early in that round, though Bey slipped several left hooks later in the sixth.
Kambosos’ overhand right caught Bey on the side of his head early in the fourth round. A hard left hook by Kambosos got Bey’s attention early in the third round.
A left-right combination by Kambosos moved Bey backward toward the end of the second round. Kambosos caught Bey with a left hook in the middle of the second round.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.