George Kambosos defeats Maxi Hughes in heavily-disputed decision

George Kambosos Jr. scored his first win in nearly two years, but most of the crowd didn't agree.

The former lightweight champion picked up a majority decision win over Maxi Hughes on Saturday night in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

One judge scored the fight 114-114 in favor of Hughes, but they were overruled by two scores of 117-111 and 115-113 in favor of Kambosos (21-2, 10 KOs), a decision that was met by a chorus as boos as Hughes shook his head in disbelief. scored the fight 117-111 for Hughes.

Hughes (26-6-2, 5 KOs) as a heavy underdog and delivered a career-best performance. His southpaw style troubled Kambosos throughout the fight and kept him honest with his jab and slick movement. In round three, Hughes hurt Kambosos with a left to the body and opened a cut over his right eye in the fifth round with a straight left.

Hughes appeared to win clearly, but the judges did not vote in his favor.

"I'm absolutely devastated," said Hughes, "Nobody thought I was supposed to be in George's league. Tonight, I came and I showed that I should have had my hand raised. I don't want to take George's moment.

"I used my footwork. I made him miss and pay. I landed the cleaner shots. I don't want to sound like a sore loser, and I will watch it and assess it, but everyone here now knows who Maxi Hughes is."

According to Compubox, Hughes landed 98 of 338 punches (29%), and Kambosos landed 90 of 471 punches (19%).

Kambosos, a former four-belt 135-pound titleholder, who was coming off a pair of losses to undisputed champion Devin Haney in Australia last year, felt he dominated the fight, to the chagrin of those in attendance.

"We won the fight by many rounds," said Kambosos. "That's no discredit to Maxi Hughes. He had a couple good rounds. But a couple good rounds don't win you the fight. We won a majority of the rounds. That's the reason we chose him. He was a hard test.

"I need to get grittier," Kambosos said. "He was moving a lot and wasn't engaging a lot, but that's the way he fights."

The victory was the first for Kambosos since a 12-round decision win over Teofimo Lopez in the 2021 Upset of the Year, a performance that briefly lifted Kambosos to the pinnacle of the lightweight division. However, he followed up that victory with two straight losses to Haney.

As for England's Hughes, the 33-year-old has likely earned himself another solid fight. In September, he picked up the most significant win of his career, a majority decision win over former titlist Kid Galahad. However, it's Kambosos who moves on to bigger things, despite what appeared to be a clear defeat.

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