George Kambosos Jr. picked up his first victory since an unsuccessful pair of 2022 bout against Devin Haney this weekend, going five rounds against Maxi Hughes for a majority decision victory (114-114, 117-111 & 115-113).
While successful on scorecards, Kambosos Jr. certainly struggled against a crafty counter-puncher in Hughes. Kambosos Jr. frequently marched forward with punches, but at times he would find himself caught by counter left hooks or straights to the body or head.
The output from both boxers was never high in the match, throwing a low amount of punches and connecting with few. The most dominant round of the fight was arguably the fifth, when Hughes seemingly took Kambosos Jr. off-balance with a left hand for one moment.
The win was a title eliminator for the IBF Lightweight Championship, putting Kambosos Jr. second in their rankings.
Hughes entered this weekend on a seven-fight winning streak. He picked up the IBO World Lightweight Championship in the last of that run, beating Kid Galahad via majority decision in September of last year. The IBO belt that Hughes won in his previous appearance passed over to Kambosos Jr. on Saturday.
Kambosos Jr., a former IBF, WBA and WBO champion, was fighting for his first win since 2021. He took a pair of high-profile defeats in 2022, losing on scorecards twice to Devin Haney. He notably was the first and only person to defeat Teofimo Lopez, mounting an upset split decision win over him in late 2021.
George Kambosos Jr. vs. Maxi Hughes round-by-round updates
Round 1: Kambosos Jr. poked out his jab throughout this first round. Hughes tried for some combinations but nothing really landed too well. This wasn’t a round where work from either boxer was particularly stunning – the usual feeling out process type business. Kambosos Jr. kept Hughes on his back foot and seemed to be the more active and successful boxer with his strikes. I’ll start things off with 10-9 Kambsos Jr.
Round 2: Hughes countered Kambosos Jr. with a strong right hand in the opening minute of this round. It’s still mostly jabs from Kambosos Jr. – this cannot be said about Hughes, who is swinging for the fences with the hooks he throws. They both opened up with shots in the final few seconds of the round. Kambosos Jr. snuck a nice left hand in at the end of a combo. This felt like a round for Hughes possibly, though it’s hard to say. Both of them are still settling in for sure. 19-19.
Round 3: Hughes is continuing to get some good counter shots in. Kambosos Jr. is struggling to connect with much when he lunges in for a jab or other shot. With just about 20 seconds to go in the round, Hughes scored with a loud and thudding left hook to the body. We’re still in the low output stage of this match, but Hughes is getting the best of these exchanges. 29-28 Hughes.
Round 4: Kambosos Jr. with a better fourth round. This not to say the rounds before were bad – nothing has been disastrous for either fighter yet. It’s been cautious and slow from both of them thus far. But back to Kambsos Jr.: he connected much more Hughes and somehow didn’t get punished much with counters, despite this being what has happened in prior rounds. 38-38.
Round 5: Mark Kriegl’s scorecard on the broadcast has Kambosos Jr. up 3-1 so far – which is fair. That first round, which he gave Kambosos Jr., was a close one. Hughes seemingly wobbled Kambosos Jr. a minute into this round with a left hand. A cut near the right eye of Kambosos Jr. got noted by the broadcast team around this time. It’s around the end of his eyebrow, so for the time being at least it shouldn’t provide any big issues for him. Hughes scored with another notable left hand in the final minute of the round. Hughes’ best round yet, and you could argue he’s starting to amass a lead of one-to-two rounds now, 48-47 Hughes.
Round 6: The fighters had an unintentional clash of heads a minute into the sixth. A cut on Hughes’ head started to open around this time. Another left hand from Hughes scores – that right cross has been money for him over the past two rounds. It scores again with 20 seconds in the round. Kambosos Jr. had some stuff to offer in this round, but I think it will go the way of Hughes again. 58-56 Hughes.
Round 7: Kambosos Jr. is letting more punches fly but is whiffing big on some of them. Hughes either took a round off here or was less encouraged to throw in the face of an increased aggression from Kambosos Jr., it seems. Kambosos Jr. landed a good left hook in the final minute of the round. I’m okay with giving this one to Kambosos Jr., although I wouldn’t be mad if someone went the other way. 67-66 Hughes.
Round 8: Not to sound repetitive, but it’s worth noting that the left hand of Hughes is still connecting. Over and over. I’m seeing some scorecards online that are much more in favor of Hughes, including the idea that maybe he won the first six rounds. The specifics of how close this one is so far is hard for me to gauge honestly, but he’s certainly in the lead. And extended it in this round with his great work on the counter. 77-75 Hughes.
Round 9: Kambosos Jr. is advancing on Hughes but quite honestly not doing much with this movement. Hughes with another left hand to the body of Kambosos Jr. in the final few seconds of this round. He went to the body again just before the bell. A pretty inactive round from both honestly. But I think another one that went Hughes way just barely. With three rounds to go, Hughes is pulling away at this point. 87-84 Hughes.
Round 10: Worth noting, I have Hughes up three rounds but it seems I have one of the more pro-Kambosos Jr. cards out there. So, no matter what way it goes, Kambosos Jr. is in trouble at this point. Not the most eventful round. I can tell you that Hughes scored more with his left hand, but you probably already knew that at this point. 97-93 Hughes.
Round 11: The ESPN broadcast is now making parallels between this match and the two appearances between Kambosos Jr. and Devin Haney – not a reassuring thing to hear if you’re pulling for the former world champ. Kambosos skipped a few steps backwards after a left hand from Hughes toughes him on the head. Another really solid round from him, doing all the things that we’ve seen him do for the past half-hour now. 107-102 Hughes.
Round 12: Kambosos Jr.’s corner showed no urgency before the final round, telling him to focus on “basic boxing.” No call for a finish, which might be all he can do to get a win at this point. The left hand of Hughes is, unsurprisingly, still working. This is another real low output round from both boxers. The few shining moments in this frame went to Hughes. A lot of the rounds he won in this match were not by some long stretch, which makes me think the scorecards could be all around the place. Here comes the interesting part. What did the actual judges think? I say 117-111 Hughes.
Official Result: George Kambosos Jr. def. Maxi Hughes via majority decision (114-114, 117-111 & 115-113)
George Kambosos Jr. vs. Maxi Hughes results & undercard analysis
- George Kambosos Jr. def. Maxi Hughes via majority decision (114-114, 117-111 & 115-113) – IBO World Lightweight Championship
- Keyshawn Davis def. Francesco Patera via unanimous decision (100-89, 100-89 & 99-90): WBC USA & WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight Championships
Undefeated lightweight prospect Keyshawn Davis went 10 rounds for the first time in his pro career on Saturday night, out-working Francesco Patera to pick up a unanimous decision win. Davis started somewhat slow but had control of the bout throughout, landing at a higher frequency than Patera. Davis’ biggest moment came in the eighth round, when he dropped Patera with a clean right cross.
Davis defended two belts that he already owned in this appearance. He earned the vacant WBO Inter-Continental Lightweight Championship in late 2022 when he beat Juan Carlos Burgos on scorecards. He defended that belt earlier this year and picked up the WBC USA Lightweight Championship with a victory against Anthony Yigit.
Saturday marked Patera’s first pro appearance outside of Europe. A large chunk of his career has taken place in his home country of Belgium.
- Giovani Santillan def. Erick Bone via unanimous decision (97-92, 98-92 & 97-93) – Welterweight
Giovani Santillan kept his undefeated record intact on Saturday night, taking a unanimous decision nod over tough Erick Bone after 10 rounds. Bone had a strong start to the fight, connecting with clean shots and giving Santillan trouble. Santillan was able to get more control of the bout in the later rounds, closing the fight out with a comfortable lead on all three scorecards once the fight finally concluded.
Santillan now has a record of 31 wins since turning pro more than a decade ago. He was coming off somewhat of a layoff this weekend, as his previous appearance was against Julio Luna Avila 11 months ago. Bone came into this fight on a seven-bout winning streak, which he attained from competing in Ecuador. His previous loss dated back to 2018.
- Jeremiah Milton def. Willie Harvey via TKO at 3:00 in Round 4 – Heavyweight
Heavyweight prospect Jeremiah Milton added win number 10 to his pro record, defeating Willie Harvey via stoppage. The fight was stopped in-between the fourth and fifth rounds, as swelling around an eye of Harvey worsened significantly. Milton cruised toward the finish, never having any major moments through four rounds but clearly having the edge against his opponent, who remained on the back foot for most of the fight.
Milton, who turned pro in 2020, has now finished seven of his 10 opponents. He went the distance in his previous fight, overcoming UFC veteran Fabio Maldonado via scorecards in April.
- Troy Isley def. Antonio Todd via unanimous decision (79-73, 79-73 & 79-73) – Middleweight
Troy Isley, an undefeated middleweight who represented the U.S. in the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics, picked up his 10th win as a pro on Saturday night, going all eight rounds against Antonio Todd to win via unanimous decision. Isley picked up many rounds early, out-landing Todd on the feed.
But Todd exploded forward with some combinations that would briefly overwhelm Isley, including a moment in the opening seconds of the seventh round. Isley has now scored two wins in 2023. His previous fight this year was an eight-rounder over Roy Barringer. Todd has been unsuccessful as of late, losing four of his last five bouts.
- Hemi Ahio def. Amron Sands via TKO at 2:12 in Round 6 – Heavyweight
New Zealand’s Hemi Ahio scored his 21st pro victory on Saturday night, finishing Amron Sands in the sixth round of their heavyweight bout. The match, which went at a slow pace for most of the time, saw Ahio control the fight and hurt Sands numerous times, but never knock him down.
A cornered and covered up Sands took a long series of punches in the sixth round, causing the referee to step in and end the fight. Ahio has only lost one fight since his 2013 pro debut, that being an upset lost last fall against Faiga Opelu. Sands has now lost three of his last five.
- Joseph Goodall def. Stephan Shaw via TKO at 2:55 in Round 6 – Heavyweight
Australian heavyweight Joseph Goodall handed Stephan Shaw his second pro loss to open the evening, knocking him down twice in the sixth round, causing Goodall’s corner to throw in the towel and end the bout. Goodall first dropped Shaw with a three-punch combination of hooks.
Moments later, he knocked him down again with a left hook. A hurt and now slow Shaw remained in the bout, but only until his corner threw in the towel to end the fight. Shaw was aiming to bounce back from his first loss, which came against Efe Ajagba in January. Goodall now has a record of 10 wins through 12 appearances.
George Kambosos Jr. vs. Maxi Hughes will be broadcast on ESPN+.
A monthly subscription to ESPN+ costs $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. ESPN+ can also be included in The Disney Bundle with Hulu. The ad-supported version of that package is $13.99. The no-ads version is $19.99.
ESPN+ can be viewed on the following platforms and devices.
|Mobile Devices||TV/Streaming Devices||Gaming Consoles|
|iPhone||Amazon Fire TV||PlayStation®4|
|iPad||Amazon Fire TV Stick||PlayStation®5|
|Android Phone||Android TV||XBox One|
|Android Tablet||Apple TV||XBox Series X|S|
|Amazon Fire Tablet||Google Chromecast||Xfinity Flex|
|Fb Portal Touch||COX Contour 2||Oculus Go|
|Facebook Portal TV|
|LG Smart TV|
|Panasonic Smart TV|
|Samsung Smart TV|
|Sony Smart TV|
|Xfinity X1 TV Box|
|Xfinity X Class|
Bloody Elbow offers quality coverage of major boxing main events for the MMA fan who appreciates the sweet science and likes to keep up here in the community. If you want to see more of this kind of work, please subscribe to the Bloody Elbow newsletter and learn how you can support the site.
About the author