Top Rank Boxing

After George Kambosos shocked the boxing world with his November 2021 win over Teofimo Lopez to become unified lightweight champion, it was expected his first title defense would come against multi-division former champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. Russia's invasion of Ukraine left Lomachenko unable to take the fight and Kambosos would go on to lose his titles to Devin Haney. On Saturday night, Kambosos and Lomachenko will finally meet with the vacant IBF lightweight title on the line.

Lomachenko began his professional career after being one of the best amateur boxers of his era, claiming a 396-1 record and twice winning Olympic gold. He would win his first world title in just his third professional fight, defeating Gary Russell Jr. to capture the WBO featherweight title.

By his seventh fight, Lomachenko had moved up to junior lightweight to win the WBO title and earned the WBA lightweight title in just his 11th pro bout.

Following his stoppage win over Jorge Linares, Lomachenko defeated WBO champion Jose Pedraza to unify the titles. Two fights later, a win over Luke Campbell added the WBC title to Lomachenko's collection.

Lomachenko was elevated to WBC "franchise champion" ahead of his fight with Teofimo Lopez, causing some confusion when the then-IBF champion Lopez defeated him in October 2020. The WBC had said their franchise championship was non-transferrable and Haney had been made WBC world champion, so Lopez was not technically undisputed champion.

Enter Kambosos, who was given his shot at Lopez as the IBF mandatory challenger. Following a bizarre build to the fight, which saw upstart Triller win the purse bid only to delay the contest and eventually default on their obligations, the Aussie managed to get in Lopez's head with his trash talk and antics. Kambosos, who was nearly a +600 underdog entering the fight, scored an early knockdown en route to a deserved split-decision win.

When Kambosos vs. Lomachenko collapsed due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Kambosos used his power as unified champion to force Haney to come to Australia for a fight to crown an official undisputed champion at 135 pounds.

"I'm looking forward to this. It should be a sold-out event, a great lightweight championship match," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. "Vasiliy Lomachenko is a splendid tactician, and I enjoy watching him. George Kambosos is a real warrior. He comes to fight. He's very exciting. This fight will be memorable, and I can't wait to see it. And I know fans all over the world are looking forward to it."

Haney routed Kambosos in their first meeting before doing the same in the rematch -- also held in Australia per the negotiations for the first fight.

Lomachenko got a shot at becoming undisputed when he was Haney's fist opponent after the Kambosos fights. Haney vs. Lomachenko was a fantastic fight that saw two masterful boxers operating at the top of their craft. Haney got the nod by decision, though many fans felt Lomachenko had done enough to reach his dream of being undisputed champion.

Let's take a closer look at the rest of the fight card with the latest odds before getting to a prediction and expert pick on the main event.

Lomachenko vs. Kambosos fight card, odds

  • Vasiliy Lomachenko -650 vs. George Kambosos +450, vacant IBF lightweight title
  • Andrew Moloney vs. Pedro Guevara, WBC interim super flyweight title
  • Nina Hughes (c) vs. Cherneka Johnson, WBA bantamweight title

Viewing information

  • Date: May 11
  • Location: RAC Arena -- Perth, Australia
  • Start time: 10 p.m. ET
  • How to watch: ESPN, ESPN+


Kambosos deserves all the respect in the world for his scrappy path to a place where he's not only held the unified lightweight title but also has the power to be the hometown fighter against some of the best boxers in the world. He has managed to do all of this without being an elite fighter in any technical aspect of boxing. Kambosos doesn't have great power, nor is he particularly quick, nor is he a tactician. Kambosos is a gritty guy whose self-belief has brought him to heights most boxers never experience.

All that said, self-belief is not enough to beat a master boxer like Lomachenko. The best chance for Kambosos to beat Lomachenko is for 36-year-old Lomachenko's age and the miles on his body to have caught up to him. That, combined with Lomachenko's penchant for slow starts, opens a narrow avenue for Kambosos to pull off yet another upset.

Lomachenko is likely still too good for Kambosos. The last time we saw Lomachenko, he was giving Haney everything he could handle in their fantastic battle. Haney's loss to an overweight (and potentially PED-abusing) Ryan Garcia may have changed the opinion of some on how valuable that Lomachenko performance was, but it was a performance that showed plenty left in Lomachenko's tank.

Lomachenko is not a fighter prone to making mistakes in the way Lopez was, which allowed Kambosos to pull off his career-best win. This appears to be an uphill battle for Kambosos, who will have to take advantage of every small opening Lomachenko gives to try and edge out a win. Pick: Vasiliy Lomachenko via UD

Who wins George Kambosos Jr. vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko, and which prop is a must-back? Visit SportsLine now to see Brandon Wise's best bets for Saturday, all from the boxing expert who nailed Jake Paul's first-round knockout in March, and find out.