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Devin Haney: The ‘e-mail champ’ is the top dog now, Kambosos rematch has to make sense to happen

Devin Haney took a little jab at all the “e-mail champ” critics after becoming undisputed champion by beating George Kambosos Jr.

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

Devin Haney is the new undisputed lightweight champion, ending all arguments, whatever they were, with his win over George Kambosos Jr in Melbourne.

Haney (28-0, 15 KO) did thank Kambosos (20-1, 10 KO) for taking the best fight available to either of them during his post-fight press conference, and discussed a contractually-agreed rematch that it seems few want to see, but may be happening regardless.

“Thank you, George, for this opportunity. A lot of these guys at the top wouldn’t give me my shot. I’ve been begging for my shot for a long time now. I finally got my shot, and I’ve got a lot of jewelry here.”

More from Haney’s press conference:

On how important it was to have his father in the corner

“More than anything, more than the belts, I wanted to go into war with my father. Whether it was one belt, two belts, however many belts, it was more important for my dad to be there. It was a blessing that he was able to come in the day before the fight. It was a hell of an experience and I’m happy me and him accomplished it together. We’ve talked about this since I was eight, nine years old. It was a dream come true for both of us.”

On how difficult it was to keep Kambosos off

“I wouldn’t say it was hard to keep him off of me. Honestly, I just was staying relaxed. I could have picked it up, but I knew I was in his backyard, so I wanted to stay smart and fight my fight. I was fighting at my rhythm and taking away his best attributes, and that’s what I did. I wouldn’t say he had anything that was, like — he never showed that he was, like, on me, so for you to (ask how I kept him off me), that’s kinda, like, left field.”

On whether he’ll stay at 135 or possibly move up to 140

“I gotta talk with my dad, Bob (Arum), Top Rank, and see what’s next, what makes the most sense. At the end of the day, I’m a disciplined fighter, but everything’s gotta make sense. At the end of the day this is a business. The world knows me, they know my character, and I’m not ducking or dodging nobody, but everything’s gotta make sense. I am a huge 135 lber, but I want to give my nutritionist his flowers, because I hired him at the beginning of camp, and he made the weight cut so easy. I wouldn’t even say it was a weight cut, we just landed (from) the plane perfectly. I didn’t have to use a sauna suit or a sauna. Normally I would use the sauna, sauna suit, the bath, we didn’t do none of that. We just worked out, ate healthy. This camp was super easy for me.”

On whether Kambosos can do anything differently in a rematch

“What kind of question is that? What would I say? ‘Oh, yeah, if he does this, he can win the rematch’? Like, come on now. No, there’s nothing he can do. Maybe he can have (more success) in a rematch, but to win? That’s left field, once again. He has to go back to the drawing board and make adjustments. I can’t really say what exactly, because anything he does, I’m gonna be prepared for. Like I said before the fight, he was saying a lot, but I said I will (take away) his best attributes, and that’s what I did. He really didn’t land any clean, solid shots.

“If you look at my face, obviously we all know my cut man couldn’t make it in, he got stuck at customs. I had to get a replacement, and I appreciate him stepping in, but I didn’t have an Enswell. Watch the whole fight, I never had an Enswell the whole fight. I don’t make excuses, but we were headbutting, and that’s what caused this swelling on my eye.”

On the crowd being against him

“It didn’t feel that bad. When I first came out they were kinda booing me, but I heard cheers and boos at the same time. It was a hell of an experience; it was, like, crazy. I silenced the crowd pretty much. Maybe when I tripped and they went crazy. The fans were crazy, hell of an experience, and a dream come true of mine.”

On whether he’s a pound-for-pound fighter now

“I gotta be high up on the pound-for-pound list, because if you think about it, they said the lightweight division was the best division in boxing. They said it over and over — ‘Four young kings,’ this, that. But there is only one top guy in the lightweight division. There is no more dispute. I have everything you can possibly get. E-mail, franchise — listen, whatever, no matter if you like it or not, I’m still the e-mail champ and the franchise champ.”

On whether he feels validated after criticism of his prior title

“This is a feeling that everybody that was doubting me, who came up with this ‘e-mail champ’ thing — now the e-mail champ is the top dog. There is no dispute. It all comes after everything I have here. This is a dream come true. It’s fuck all them. Fuck them, I’m the top dog now.”

On the the rematch being in Australia and whether he’ll do it

“It’s really up to my team. We want to come up with something that makes sense. It’s up to Bob (Arum) and my dad to come up with a game plan. Everything’s gotta make sense. But if they’re up for it, then I’m up for it. This is a business, and before the fight, (Kambosos) told me, ‘It’s gotta make sense.’ I made sure me and my team did everything that made it make sense. Whether I had to take less money, travel, come without my dad, we made a lot of sacrifices to make the fight happen. It all paid off.”

On Vasiliy Lomachenko as a possible opponent

“I will fight anybody. I am a true fighter. Whoever it is, they’re all on my hit list still. With me being the top guy, I’m still aiming for the biggest fights possible. Whoever’s next, we’ll talk to Bob and we’ll see.”

On the feeling of being undisputed

“Honestly, I don’t feel like — it’s like a dream. It hasn’t even sunk in yet. I dreamed of this moment for many years, and, like, I always thought, ‘Damn, I’m gonna cry.’ But it just really hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m just happy my dad is here to accomplish this with me.”

On how historic the fight could be for his career

“Many years from now, a young fighter is gonna come up and look at this fight, and he’s gonna have to go across the pond wherever and try to make history. That’s what I did today. I just want to inspire people, the fighters today, to better yourself. That’s truly what I did. I trusted in my skill, no matter who it was in the corner, I knew I could win the fight. ... I did everything I possibly could to make the fight happen.”

“This is huge for me. It’s crazy because the world was saying so much about me, but my team believed in me, I believed in myself, I came over here with a group of soldiers ready to go to war by any means. Every day was something new, but my team believed in me, I believed in my team, and we’re undisputed.”

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