In a quiet weekend of boxing, we have one stand out fight happening across the pond. Yorkshireman Maxi Hughes takes on ex-world champion George Kambosos Jnr in an eliminator for the IBF light weight title. We’ve previewed the fight and given you our predictions.
What an Indian summer it’s been in the career of Doncaster’s Maxi Hughes.
‘Maximus’ has always been a talented southpaw but his career had generally consisted of stepping up to British level and losing and a loss to Liam Walsh in 2019 for the European title saw him reach 19-5-2 in his career and with nowhere to go.
What followed has been nothing short of magnificent.
Seven straight wins, including impressive shock wins over Pail Hyaldn Jr, Ryan Walsh and Kid Galahad has seen maxi pick up the WBC international, British and IBO lightweight titles.
Now, he takes yet another step up in class against the Australian George Kambosos Jnr, for a chance at a shot at one of the real world title straps.
The 30-year-old Aussie first came to prominence in this country in 2020, defeating Lee Selby at the SSE arena in London.
He then shocked the boxing world, beating Teofimo Lopez by split decision at Madison Square Garden, to become a unified champion and no 1 lightweight in the world.
Disappointing back to back losses against Devin Haney for the Undisputed crown followed but make no mistake, ‘The Emperor’ is a world class operator.
Where and when is the fight taking place?
The fight is happening at the Firelake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma, in the early hours of Sunday, July 23rd and will be broadcast live and exclusively on Sky Sports in the UK. The event is a Bob Arum promotion for Top Rank. The show will start at around 1am, with the main ring walk taking place at around 4am UK time.
What does the full fight card look like?
- George Kambosos Jr vs. Maxi Hughes IBF Lightweight Eliminator
- Keyshawn Davis vs. Fancesco Patera; Lightweight
- Giovani Santillan vs. Erick Bone; Welterweight
- Troy Isley vs. Antonio Todd; Middleweight
- Amron Sands vs. Hemo Ahio; Heavyweight
- Roney Hines vs. Michael Pirotton; Heavyweight
- Stephan Shaw vs. Joseph Goodall; Heavyweight
- Jeremiah Milton vs. Willie Harvey; Heavyweight
(subject to change)
Who’s the favourite?
Kambosos is a big 3/10 favourite to beat the Argentine, with Maxi a 11/4 outsider. If you fancy this one to be closer than the bookies, then the draw is available at 14/1.
What’s been said?
“Three big fights in 11 months is bound to take its toll, but I’m back, I’m refreshed and I’m ready to go.
I’ve learnt from the Haney fights and I’m not the kind of guy thats gonna be upset by losses.
It’s gonna be a beautiful victory (over Hughes), then I can think about the future.
I’m greedy and I’m gonna take his head off”
George Kambosos Jnr.
On making debut in the US: “It’s one of my dreams, you watch all the big fights and think, I want a bit of that!
I’ve had my tough times in boxing but I’ve shown a lot of mental strength, I’ve earnt my right to be on this stage
Oklahoma wasn’t on my list of places to visit but I’m enjoying every minute of it
I’m happy and proud to be main event on Top Rank
I’m very confident and I’ll have tunnel vision on the night”
George Kambosos Jnr to win on Points – 8/13
I really like Maxi as a fighter and a man and I was trying to find ways that he could win this fight.
Ultimately though and as Kambosos said, there are levels to this game and I think Hughes will just be found wanting.
I expect the English fighter to trouble the Aussie with his expert ring craft and awkward southpaw style but eventually George will wear him down.
I think this one will be a fairly wide unanimous decision.
*All prices correct at the time of writing.