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Kambosos says Haney NOT defensively great

Devin Haney, George Kambosos Jr boxing photo

By Max Scramm: Unified lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. believes Devin Haney’s defensive skills aren’t what he and many boxing fans consider them to be.

Kambosos noted this week that WBC 135-lb champion Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) gets caught quite frequently in his fights, and he’s now getting hurt.

With his 50% knockout rate, Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) isn’t considered a big puncher. Still, he feels he’s got more than enough power to force Haney to “run” from him when they meet for the undisputed lightweight contest on June 5th at the Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

For Haney to win the fight on Kambosos’ home soil in Australia, he can run from him, and if he stands his ground, his defensive flaws will be exposed.

The 28-year-old Australian Kambosos is one of the most accurate punchers in the lightweight division, making him a grave threat to the undefeated 23-year-old WBC champion Haney.

Kambosos feels that Haney is a safer fight for him than his match last November against Teofimo Lomachenko or if he’d gone through with his intended target of facing Vasyl Lomachenko.

The match against Lomachenko couldn’t happen for Kambosos because the Ukrainian joined the territorial defense battalion to defend his country in response to the Russian invasion.

It’s not so much that Haney has poor defensive skills that have created problems for him in recent fights, but rather this habit of wanting to slug with his opponents.

When Haney gets hit cleanly by his opponents, he appears to take offense and wants to pay them back immediately. Instead of keeping his cool, he fires back and puts himself in danger of getting caught.

That fighting style is risky, particularly for fighters with weak power and a weak chin like Haney.

“In his mind, he might think they’re great, but we’ve seen it, he’s been hurt before, he’s been wobbled, he’s been rocked,” said Kambosos to Fighthype about Devin. “These guys [Jorge Linares & Jojo Diaz], they’re way out of their prime or featherweights.

Devin Haney, George Kambosos Jr boxing photo

Linares is 36-years-old, but he badly hurt Haney in the championship rounds in the ninth round last May and dominated him until the end of the fight.

Luckily for Haney, he’d banked enough rounds in the first half of the bout to win a 12 round unanimous decision over the former three-division world champion Linares.

The main takeaway from the Haney-Linares fight is that Haney can be hurt and that his ability to recover was shown to be poor.

“So when a natural lightweight in his prime hits him clean and hits him multiple times, that’s when I’m excited to see how he reacts,” said Kambosos.

“We’ve seen in his last three fights, especially in the Linares fight and the Jojo Diaz fight — he thinks he’s a defensive fighter but gets caught.”

Haney has been getting caught his entire career by his opposition, not just in his fights with Linares and Diaz.

If you look back at Haney’s fight against Alfredo Santiago in 2019, he was injured by the lanky 5’11” fighter when he chose to go to war with the Dominican Republic brawler.

The shoulder injury Haney suffered against Santiago resulted in him sitting on the shelf for an entire year before he came back to fight 40-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa in November 2020.

I see more holes in Devin Haney than I did with the [Teofimo] Lopez fight,” said Kambosos.

No one is saying that Haney is in the same class as Teofimo, so it shouldn’t be a shock that he’s less defensively sound than him. That comes with maturity.

Moving forward, Haney will need to mature and realize that he must control his emotions inside the ring with Kambosos and his other opposition if he wants to continue to enjoy success inside the ring.

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