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Who wins George Kambosos Jr vs Maxi Hughes? Predictions and preview

George Kambosos Jr faces Maxi Hughes on Saturday night, so who wins the fight?

George Kambosos Jr faces Maxi Hughes on Saturday night in Oklahoma
George Kambosos Jr faces Maxi Hughes on Saturday night in Oklahoma
Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

It’s a light week again for boxing, but the last of those for a bit here, as the sport’s about to rev up the engines and close out summer strong*.

*Knock on wood

This week, we’ve got George Kambosos Jr returning in an ESPN main event from Oklahoma, as he faces Maxi Hughes in a 12-round lightweight bout.

Who wins?

Scott Christ (61-29)

Kambosos will win, but it’s not going to be easy; stylistically, Hughes might give him a lot more trouble than you’d expect him to have considering George Jr once beat Teofimo Lopez clean and clear. Maxi’s on a good run, loads of confidence, and he’s got some real craft to his game, he’s a guy who is peaking.

Kambosos also won’t have fought in nine months by the time he gets in there, and he’s coming off of back-to-back losses to Devin Haney. Hughes ain’t Haney, but Kambosos almost lost fights to Lee Selby and Mickey Bey back in 2019-20. I’m not even saying those guys deserved wins over Kambosos, but they almost pulled it off on the three cards that matter, because Kambosos doesn’t always shine, doesn’t always truly separate himself from his opposition.

I really would not be surprised to see one of three judges favor Hughes here, either. But I’m thinking Kambosos gets some 8-4, 7-5 type cards, and I’ll more or less agree with those scores. Kambosos UD-12

Wil Esco (70-20)

Admittedly, I find George Kambosos a lot more palatable now that he’s had to drop the whole ‘emperor’ shtick. I still think he’s clearly below the elite level of world boxing, but here he’ll be in against someone in Maxi Hughes who I think is right around the same level as I think this fight is pretty well matched.

Kambosos had a reality check (twice) against Devin Haney, but those weren’t really the kind of fights that physically ruin a fighter, so while I suspect Hughes will be crafty enough to give Kambosos some difficulty, I don’t think he’ll do quite enough to get the nod on the cards. I’ll take Kambosos by decision. Kambosos UD-12

Patrick Stumberg (70-20)

Kambosos’ victory over Teofimo Lopez wasn’t a fluke in any sense of the term, but he definitely benefitted from a favorable style matchup. Kambosos has the most success when he can control the distance with his jab, then punish opponents’ entries and exits once they get frustrated. He’s built to take out aggressive swarmers, so when dealing with a technician or a spoiler, the gears don’t quite mesh. There’s a reason his last three wins came by split decision.

While none of Hughes’ recent victims measure up to Kambosos, he’s beaten such a motley array of styles that I trust him to figure out “Ferocious’” approach and employ his usual blend of slick head movement, good footwork, and clean potshots to take over down the stretch. Hughes SD-12

John Hansen (62-28)

I will say one thing in advance to any of my hater-ass colleagues who can’t see the big strategic picture: Paying sanctioning fees on four belts is for suckers and chumps. Getting life changing money for a pair of title fights, then setting the stage for the rest of your division to somehow underestimate you DESPITE HAVING DEFINITIVELY PROVEN YOURSELF AS THE GREATEST LIGHTWEIGHT OF THIS OR ANY OTHER ERA? That’s genius. If any of the semi-literate numbskulls alongside me on the masthead of this website had ever read so much as a single page of Sun Tzu, they might just understand that.

With that out of the way, let me introduce you to Ευτύχης Μπλέτσας (Eftihis Bletsas), better known to viewers of SKAI TV as “The Happy Traveler.”

Eftihis has a travel show where he’s basically a one-man band, spotlighting destinations all across the peninsula and islands of Greece, and later all across the planet. Think of him as Rick Steves, but swarthier and much less dorky. He got a Greek TV channel to pay him (and his wife, who gets a smooch at the 1:20 mark in that music video) for over 250 episodes of traveling around to some of the most beautiful places in the world.

Shawnee, Okla., is not one of the most beautiful places in the world. No disrespect to the locals, or to inland waterway enthusiasts and Wikipedia skimmers, who obviously know it for being a mere 112 miles away from the McClellan–Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System of locks and dams that provide shipping barge access to the Gulf of Mexico. It has more casinos (5) than elementary schools (4). And the ferrite magnet factory shut down last year.

If the entire planet were consumed by hellfire in some sort of reverse-Waterworld situation, and the only habitable place remaining on the surface of this Earth was Shawnee, Oklahoma, I’d still have to thoroughly consider my options before agreeing to go there.

But this week and this week only, Shawnee is the center of the sports universe, and a must-visit destination. The Emperor is back, and his new reign starts in humble little Shawnee. If the Tourism Department of the City of Shawnee (yes, there is one) is smart, they’ll cut a deal for George Kambosos to Happy Traveler his way around their town and really put it on the map.

Give Kambosos a GoPro and a selfie stick, and turn him loose. Show us the painted horses, George! Visit the gravesite and memorial plaque of Dr. Brewster Higley VI, writer of Franklin Roosevelt’s favorite song, “Home on the Range.” Show us the largest pair of overalls in the world, and don’t listen to any horseshit from lying, jealous Nebraskans. Show the world why Shawnee was ranked the 19th best disc golf destination in Oklahoma, and go “frolfing” at all four courses!

And, obviously, also go win the fifth and most prestigious title, the IBO lightweight belt. Frankly, this fight was over as soon as it was signed and Kambosos turned his mighty gaze towards Maxi Hughes. Hughes is a nice enough fellow, and I wish him all the best handling domestic business in his beltless future. He’ll go down in history as the closest eyewitness to the start of the second great reign of George Kambosos, and that’s something his grandkids will never tire of hearing. And Shawnee is the place where it happens. Lucky for them! Measure him while he’s there, Shawnee, so you can build a colossus in his image. Kambosos KO-1

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