Boxing loves to throw its fans for a loop with decisions that create negative conversations. For those who watched the fight on ESPN, it felt like Maxi Hughes (26-6-2, 5 KOs) should have had his hand raised by the referee in victory. Instead, George Kambosos Jr. (21-2, 10 KOs) gets the majority decision with the scorecards reading 114-114, 117-111 & 115-113. After the scorecards were read, social media, specifically Twitter, went crazy, which made the word “robbery” trend with more than 11,000 tweets.
Take it away, Twitter pic.twitter.com/9tiOh8YIub— Evan Korn (@KornerMan44) July 23, 2023
I’ll be the first to admit that Hughes wasn’t landing bone-breaking shots, but he did outclass Kambosos Jr. for 12 rounds, and that part is hard to ignore. It often happens, especially with fighters who have never fought in the U.S., that they don’t get the credit for some of their work against the “A-side” fighter. Kambosos Jr. looked confused last night and someone who did not have a Plan B. Could it be that Kambosos Jr. had the fight of his life against Teofimo Lopez, and that would be his one and only moment? It’s hard to imagine that being the case but losing back-to-back against Devin Haney in fights that were not competitive and then doing what he did last night doesn’t help an argument against it.
Kambosos was the agressor, while Hughes was more efficient, landing 34% of his power punches. Kambosos landed 8/39 punches per rnd, while Hughes landed 8/28 per rnd. Kambosos landed in single digits in 11 of 12 rnds, while Hughes landed less than 10 punches in 9 of 12 rnds. pic.twitter.com/YjhfLbtbeG— CompuBox (@CompuBox) July 23, 2023
Going back to the issue with the scorecards, boxing needs to find a way to address those who consistently have bad scoring nights. The issue is that there are no repercussions when handing in bad scorecards and they continue to get more opportunities. WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman was on Boxing with Chris Mannixrecently and said they are reviewing different ways to fix the issue, with one option being increasing the number of judges by two and having them score remotely. That is an option, but again, the state commissions and the sanctioning bodies are doing the sport a disservice by allowing this to continue. Why aren’t those judges subject to a post-fight conference with the media? The referees are often put on the spot, so why not the judges? It’s an ongoing conversation that we all hope can be minimized in the future.
So what happens now? Everything will be on hold until Haney decides what to do next. The move to junior welterweight seems inevitable, and if that happens, Top Rank is in a great position to do a tournament within the lightweight division for most of the belts, as their fighters are all within the top five. The names you will see are Vasiliy Lomachenko, Shakur Stevenson, George Kambosos Jr., Jamaine Ortiz, and down the road Keyshawn Davis. They will all be involved in big fights at 135 pounds, keeping most of the titles with Top Rank. If they want to get their guys a shot, PBC and Matchroom will have to press the gas on their fighters at lightweight. The lightweight division will be one to watch, and next year, we will see some of these matchups come to fruition which will continue the trend of fights that the fans want to see.