Devin Haney has secured the entirely neutral panel of judges he and his team understandably sought for his showdown with George Kambosos Jr. in Kambosos’ home country of Australia.
BoxingScene.com has learned that none of the three judges assigned to their June 5 fight at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne are from Australia. There isn’t an American judge on the panel, either, but multiple sources have confirmed that Haney’s handlers had two unidentified judges replaced from the original panel picked to score their fight.
Neither of those judges were from Australia, but Haney’s team was more comfortable with the group on which representatives for both boxers ultimately agreed.
Hungary’s Zoltan Enyedi, Poland’s Pawel Kardyni and Canada’s Benoit Roussel have been approved by both camps and the Australian Boxing Commission as the judges for this 12-round, 135-pound championship bout between Kambosos and Haney. Panama’s Hector Afu will serve as the referee for a main event ESPN will air live the night of June 4 in the United States.
Foxtel Main Event will distribute Kambosos-Haney as the headliner of a pay-per-view show the afternoon of June 5 in Australia.
None of those three judges nor Afu have previously worked fights involving Kambosos or Haney. Afu (WBC), Enyedi (WBO), Kardyni (WBA) and Roussel (IBF) were suggested by each of the four major sanctioning organizations that will have titles at stake in the Kambosos-Haney fight for approval by both camps and the commission.
The 28-year-old Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) is from Sydney, which, like Melbourne, is one of Australia’s most populated cities. The 23-year-old Haney (27-0, 15 KOs), a Henderson, Nevada resident originally from Oakland, agreed to battle Kambosos in his native country to land the opportunity to become boxing’s eighth fully unified champion in any division during the sport’s four-belt era.
Haney holds the WBC world lightweight title, the only championship Kambosos needs to become boxing’s undisputed 135-pound champion. Kambosos upset previously unbeaten Brooklyn native Teofimo Lopez (16-1, 12 KOs) in his last fight, which took place November 27 at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater in New York, to win the IBF, WBA, WBO and WBC “franchise” lightweight titles.
If Haney beats Kambosos next weekend, he is contractually obligated to box Kambosos in an immediate rematch, which also would be held in Australia.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.