Pick Him: World Champion George Kambosos vs. TBRB #4 Devin Haney (Saturday, ESPN, 10:00 p.m. EST)
To be honest, the top three fights of the next few days are all must-sees. This one gets the top spot because it will have an event feel that eclipses its peers.
Some 50,000 fans will gather in the stands in Melbourne to see unexpected 28-year-old lightweight king George Kambosos (20-0, 10 KOs) bring home his title. 23-year-old Devin Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) is traveling with the intention of bringing it back to the United States with him. Is it a coronation or is Kambosos one of those fighters who end up being more than anyone saw coming? His title win over Teofimo Lopez may already do that, but if Kambosos can knock Haney down as well, that would be quite a statement. For Haney, the statement will be walking into a hostile crowd without all of his familiar corner and having the nerve to shine what appears to be a lack of skill and talent through the hurdle of abandoning the home pitch. It may not be the action fight of the week, but it’s going to be one hell of a show.
Additional shows to watch
Saturday – #4 Ogawa vs. Cordina (DAZN, 2:00 p.m. EST)
34-year-old Japanese Kenichi Ogawa (26-1-1, 18 KOs) is set to make his first defense of the IBF belt at Jr. lightweight with passport in hand. He heads to Cardiff where the Welsh faithful will shoot for 30-year-old local son and 2016 Olympian Joe Cordina (14-0, 8 KOs) to win his first major title. Cordina was brought in well and Ogawa will be a good test. It could be a fun piece.
Saturday – #1 Fulton vs. #3 Roman (Showtime, 9:00 p.m. EST)
If Kambosos-Haney is the event of the week in the boxing world, it’s the tastiest steak on the menu. Daniel Roman, 32 (29-3-1, 10 KOs) narrowly lost a pair of Jr. featherweight belts to Murodjon Akhmadaliev and picked up two straight wins. 27-year-old Stephen Fulton (20-0, 8 KOs) has won the WBO and WBC belts in back-to-back fights and defeated four consecutive undefeated fighters. The “0” is not everything because Roman on paper is the best opponent of his career. The exciting super middleweight David Morrell will also be in action.
Tuesday – #1 Inoue vs. Donaire (ESPN, 5:30 a.m. EST)
This one has big event and big fight elements married to a rematch of the fight of the year 2019. The start day and time might make this hard to watch for some, but it will be worth getting up for. early. Naoya Inoue (22-0, 19 KOs) has been in limbo for too many of the past three years, his career path derailed in part due to COVID. He has a chance to unify the titles for the second time with now WBC title roster Nonito Donaire (42-6, 28 KOs). The future aging Hall of Famer remains dangerous. Can he land the biggest knockout blow of his career with a retirement shot? Or is Inoue reminding the world why he is so beloved?
Cliff Rold is the editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be contacted at [email protected]