By Craig Daly: George Kambosos Jr. should consider taking an interim fight if possible before facing undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney in a rematch.
With the way that Kambosos (20-1, 10 KOs) was outboxed and dominated by Haney (28-0, 15 KOs) last Saturday night in Melbourne, Australia if he fights him in an immediate rematch, he’s going to lose again.
The question is whether there’s something in Kambosos’ contract with Haney that will allow there to be an interim fight between their rematch.
If not, Kambosos won’t have any other choice but to take the rematch immediately with Haney and hope that he can take a cram course in making the needed improvements in his game to somehow win.
One other option is for Kambosos to walk away from the rematch clause, and go in another direction to avoid a second loss on his record.
The advantage in taking that path is that Kambosos would avoid a loss, and he’d still be in demand for the popular lightweights like Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, Ryan Garcia, Vasyl Lomachenko, and Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero to fight him.
Kambosos needs a confidence booster
“Devin Haney is the undisputed lightweight champion after his decisive decision win over George Kambosos last Saturday. Kambosos, though, has the immediate opportunity to get his titles back,” said Chris Mannix on DAZN’s JABS.
“Kambosos has a rematch clause, which he says he will exercise and bring a second fight to Australia. Kambosos was pretty soundly beaten by Haney. Should he take an immediate rematch or should Kambosos let Haney and frankly himself take an interim fight?”
“If the contract allows an interim fight without losing that rematch, of course, you take that interim fight because you need to feel like a winner again,” said Sergio Mora. “You need to punch something, and you need to feel like you can become a champion again.
“Get that confidence back again because if you go right back in the Devin Haney fight, of course, you’re going to activate that rematch clause again. You’re going to get paid and get that money but the exact same thing is going to happen.
“He didn’t shine. Kambosos had everything set up for him, and he didn’t shine. It was in his backyard, it was in Melbourne. He didn’t stop it. Now, I think an interim fight makes total sense,” said Mora.
“If I’m George Kambosos, the only way I take an interim fight and the only way I let Devin Haney take an interim fight is A, I’m guaranteed exactly the same amount of money or more than I’m guaranteed for the Haney fight in the rematch.
“Whatever happens to those lightweight titles, Kambosos needs to make sure he gets a shot, because Kambosos, it sure seems that being a champion matters as much as the money.”
Titles are important
Sure. the money is great. They both made a boatload of it having the fight in Australia, but he doesn’t want to fight Devin Haney in a rematch if no titles are at stake,” said Mannix.
“So if he lets Haney walk and fights someone like Ryan Garcia or Tank Davis or Vasily Lomachenko, then he needs to make sure whoever Haney signs on to fight, agrees to fight him in Australia in the next fight.
“That to me feels really complicated to do. So if I’m George Kambosos, I get what you’re saying. He was beaten, and I’m not so sure there’s an adjustment that he can make to win the rematch.
“But I’m getting that money, I’m getting that title opportunity, and I’m letting everything else fall into place from there,” said Mannix.
“Yeah, but then we’re going to get into these contractual agreements that didn’t let the heavy weight undisputed fight happen, and the same thing is going to happen here, with contracts after contracts after clauses,” said Mora.
“It just steps onto too many big fights. If you’re Kambosos, yes, I would follow the game plan, but you’re a boxing fan. No, because we have already seen Kambosos get outclassed. He didn’t win more than three rounds in my book. The judges had it closer.
“I just don’t see much changing [in a rematch]. He was in his backyard, he was in Melbourne, and everything was set up. The stars were in line, and he didn’t show up. He didn’t shine. He just doesn’t have it with him.
“Devin Haney, he was firing on all cylinders. He looked unbeatable. That jab looked incredible. How is he going to get past that jab? I don’t know. I just think an interim fight, an in-between fight makes a lot of sense, and, of course, exercise that rematch clause and get paid,” said Mora.
“That’s not the point. Yeah, there’s a pretty good chance that he gets completely outclassed by Devin Haney again because Devin Haney might be one of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the sport right now,” said Mannix.
Get your money
“The point is, you got to get your money and get your title opportunity. The rematch clause says Devin Haney has to do it again in Australia. And while they can’t sell out and put 40,000 again in the stadium, they could probably put 20,000+ in a smaller arena for a rematch.
“If you’re George Kambosos, you’ve got to protect that at all costs. You can’t afford to let Devin Haney go out and maybe fight Tank Davis and get caught.
“You can’t afford to let Devin Haney fight Lomachenko and get beat and lose all your titles. Not unless you’re 100% sure that the winner of Haney vs. anybody is coming to Australia to face you in their next fight,” said Mannix.
“Kambosos already got his moment and he’s shined. He seized the day in New York, at MSG against one of the hardest punchers in Teofimo Lopez,” said Mora.
“Kambosos shined and now it’s time to get paid. I think money is more than championships. he already knows what it’s like to be a champion. Now it’s MOB, money over belts. Forget the belts.”
“You’re making my argument for me,” said Mannix. Take the money. The money is in the contract right now.
“Unless he can get the exact same money in a subsequent fight and two fights down the line, you’ve got to take the rematch right away regardless of what your team says and you believe you can win that next fight. You’ve got to take the bird in the hand,” said Mannix.
“Bird in the hand and get paid, that’s right,” said Mora.
“Did you just agree with me?” said Mannix.
“I did,” Mora said.