Vasiliy Lomachenko and George Kambosos Jr. will fight a little later than anticipated, but their lightweight championship clash will still take place in Kambosos’ home country of Australia.
BoxingScene.com has confirmed that representatives for Ukraine’s Lomachenko and Kambosos have finalized a deal for them to meet May 12 for the vacant IBF lightweight title. ESPN.com’s Mike Coppinger first reported the date for Lomachenko-Kambosos during an ESPN+ stream Saturday night of the Artur Beterbiev-Callum Smith undercard from Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.
BoxingScene.com has also learned that Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., which promotes Lomachenko and co-promotes Kambosos along with DiBella Entertainment, are in the process of completing a site deal with the Australian government that would bring the Lomachenko-Kambosos bout to Perth, Australia, clear across that continent from Kambosos’ hometown of Sydney. Lomachenko (17-3, 11 KOs) and Kambosos (21-2, 10 KOs) could headline a card at RAC Arena, a 15,000-seat venue in Perth, the capital and largest city in western Australia.
Kambosos’ two 12-round, unanimous-decision defeats to former undisputed lightweight champ Devin Haney took place in Melbourne, in southeastern Australia. Haney won their first fight at Marvel Stadium in June 2022 and their rematch at Rod Laver Arena in October 2022.
The Lomachenko-Kambosos card will be held on a Sunday morning and afternoon in Australia. The event will be broadcast by ESPN live the night of May 11 in the United States.
The Lomachenko-Kambosos undercard is expected to feature Australia’s Moloney twins, Jason and Andrew.
Jason Moloney’s availability will depend, however, on how the cut he sustained Saturday night heals. Moloney (27-2, 19 KOs) fought through that cut over his right eyebrow to beat Saul Sanchez (20-3, 12 KOs) by majority decision in an all-action, back-and-forth fight on the Beterbiev-Smith undercard.
Moloney made his first defense of the WBO bantamweight title by beating an equally gutsy Sanchez, of Pacoima, California.
Andrew Moloney (26-3, 16 KOs) likely will participate in a WBO 115-pound elimination match against an opponent to be determined on the Lomachenko-Kambosos undercard.
Lomachenko, who will turn 36 next month, and Kambosos, 30, will fight for one of the four 135-pound championships Haney relinquished to move up to the 140-pound division late last year.
Lomachenko, a three-weight world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, will end nearly a one-year layoff when he boxes Kambosos. The highly skilled southpaw hasn’t fought since Haney (31-0, 15 KOs) won their closely contested, 12-round, 135-pound title bout by unanimous decision May 20 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Lomachenko wanted a rematch with Haney, but Haney didn’t see the need for a second fight and felt he could no longer safely squeeze his 5-foot-9 frame down to the lightweight limit of 135 pounds. A fight with since-crowned WBC lightweight champ Shakur Stevenson (21-0, 10 KOs) was proposed to Lomachenko, but he opted to face Kambosos for the unclaimed IBF belt.
Kambosos most recently recorded a debatable 12-round, majority-decision victory over British southpaw Maxi Hughes (26-6-2, 5 KOs) on July 22 at Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
The IBF ranked Kambosos second and Lomachenko third in the ratings it most recently released in December. The top spot in the IBF’s 135-pound rankings is vacant.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.