The unification world title fight between George Kambosos Jr and American Devin Haney will proceed on Sunday after the Australian dramatically made the weight at the second time of asking.
In chaotic and explosive scenes at Margaret Court Arena, Kambosos initially missed the 135lb limit for the lightweight blockbuster, hitting the scales at 135.36 pounds.
But he returned 70 minutes later after a hot shower and “a piss” at 134.46 pounds to keep alive his dreams of becoming the first boxer in the 18-year four-belt era to unify the lightweight division. Kambosos then raised his arms in triumph and gestured a throat-slit towards Team Haney.
“Changes nothing. It changes his mindset now. Trust me. Art of war. Disappointment,” Kambosos said. “Bring it on. More than ready. Let’s go. Let them believe that (a mistake). Everything is for a cause, for a process. Trust me, tomorrow, just be there.”
Looking to defend his three world title belts and take Haney’s WBC strap, Kambosos even removed all of his clothing as two guards tried to shield him from cameras with towels, but was still over the limit on his first weigh-in attempt.
“Maybe I did it on purpose,” Kambosos said before explaining how he made the weight the second time. “I took a piss, simple as that,” he said. “I chilled out. I was about to have a Greek coffee, but now that I have made weight, I will have a Greek coffee.”
Amid high drama and raucous support for the Sydney lightweight champion who draws inspiration from a childhood being bullied for being overweight, former champion Jeff Fenech labeled the miss “unprofessional”. However, he said it wouldn’t take long for Kambosos to get under the limit.
“He’ll have a little sauna and a skip, it’s not much weight, he’ll make it,” said Fenech for Main Event. “For me you always come and check the weight on the official scale. He said he checked them at the hotel and they said he was on weight. A little disappointing. It’s common protocol that you go and you check the official scales. While it won’t take that long (to make weight), it can play with your head a little bit.”
Officials pleaded with fans not to storm the stage when Kambosos emerged for his second weight attempt, with many Greek supporters chanting their hero’s name. Haney weighed in at 134.92 pounds and slammed Kambosos, tweeting a clown emoji before calling the Australian a “bitch” and taunting his rival by saying, “he’s sucked up, he’s dry, I don’t know, it is what it is, we ‘ve still got to go in there and fight.
“I told him he wasn’t a true champion because true champions make weight. They don’t got to take multiple times to make weight,” Haney told FightTV. “We trained for six to eight weeks to be prepared to make weight on our first go so I told him he’s not a true champion and he’s a bitch.
“He’s mad about it. He’s upset he didn’t make the weight so’s trying to do anything to get down. At the end of the day we’re going to fight tomorrow whether he makes weight or not.”
When the combatants faced off one last time, Kambosos’s father Jim almost clashed physically with members of Haney’s entourage. It was Jim who famously took the 12-year-old George to Rockdale Police Citizens Youth Club to shed weight. Kambosos rose quickly thereafter, turning professional at age 18, winning the NSW title in his third fight and the Australian belt in his sixth.
Despite the weigh-in shenanigans, it’s understood the unification bout still would have gone ahead at Marvel Stadium even if Kambosos didn’t make the weight. However, the Sydney slugger would have been stripped of his belts regardless of the outcome.
Meanwhile, Haney’s trainer father Bill has reportedly being granted a visa and will make a mad dash from Las Vegas to Melbourne for the fight. Bill Haney was originally denied a visa due to a 30-year-old drug conviction with the boxer forced to call in Yoel Judah, the father of Zab, as his trainer.