KEYS TO VICTORY: Devin Haney vs. George Kambosas 2
The rematch for the undisputed lightweight championship between Devin Haney and George Kambosas Jr. feels mostly obligatory. Kambosas had a rematch clause in his contract, and naturally chose to enforce it after a one sided decision victory for Haney back in June.
When looking a rematch like this, where the first fight was so one sided, it’s tough to see any source of hope for the loser. Haney easily boxed his way to a win with little resistance from Kambosas and without feeling in danger at any point. Kambosas seemed lost at times and unsure of how to assert himself, as can be the case when facing a master boxer. So, is there anything Kambosas can do to give himself a chance in this fight? Easier said than done, but I have a few ideas.
- Don’t accept the clinch
Far too often throughout the first fight when the two would get close, Haney would grab onto Kambosas and for the most part, Kambosas seemed content to accept the hold and wait for the break. I think one thing he must change in this rematch is he needs to use those moments to try to make the fight as rough as possible. Don’t accept the hold. Pull back from Haney, work a free hand to the body, push Haney back, keep him turning if you can. But don’t just accept the hold and allow the entirety of the fight to take place on the outside.
2. Where’s YOUR jab?
Kambosas rarely threw his own jab during the first fight, and although he will never win a purely jabbing battle with Haney, he has to find a way to get it in the mix to set up his own shots and give something to throw off the rhythm of Haney’s jab. It will also make the overhand right less predictable.
3. Keep the foot pressure on
If Kambosas was looking for Haney to make a mistake, give him an opening, or tire out, he was mistaken. Devin has one of the best jabs in all of boxing and great timing to go with it. He also has a great sense of range, throwing everything from the right position, using the whole ring and footwork to create those openings. Kambosas will have to make his presence known with foot pressure and at least make Devin work harder to get the range he wants. But without creating that tempo, it will be hard for Kambosas to win rounds and land punches.
Haney really just needs to do more of the same, but from his perspective, this needs to be a statement performance. Something MORE than winning an easy shutout decision. A stoppage or a more physical version of what he did in the first fight can only be good for him moving forward. Heres a few goals Haney might set for himself.
- Make people want to watch you
Haney is not going to change as a fighter overnight. But the first fight was dominant enough that if he wanted to step out of his comfort zone a little offensively, he could. A Mayweather-Gatti type of performance could set him apart and create more demand from the fans to see him in big fights with Tank Davis, Vasyl Lomachenko, or Shakur Stevenson.
2. Put that man on his ass
Knockout or not, if George Kambosas hits the canvas it would be a major statement for Haney.
3. Don’t press TOO hard
Take note from Kambosas signature win over Teofimo Lopez; Kambosas thrives when a fighter steps to him. He is a great counterpuncher and has enough power to keep you honest. If Haney decides to step up his attack, he needs to do so intelligently and by doing more of what he did the first fight.
All in all, I see this as a fight that is very much the same as the first one, as do most of you probably. But Kambosas has been the underdog before, and he’ll have to have the performance of his life to pull this one out.