George Kambosos Jr vs Devin Haney boxing news 2022 greatest Australian boxers of all time video highlights Kostya Tszyu Jeff Fenech

Last year, George Kambosos Jr delivered one of the greatest Australian boxing performances in history with his knockout victory over Teofimo Lopez to become world lightweight champion.

As Kambosos prepares to unify his crown against WBC champion Devin Haney, we look back on Australia’s incredible boxing past.

From Kambosos to Kostya Tszyu, here are the ten greatest performances in Australian men’s boxing history.

Of course, we couldn’t rank them – that would be an impossible task! And there was another rule: each fighter could only be included once.

Watch one of the greatest boxing fights of all time in Australia: George Kambosos Jr. vs. Devin Haney, Sunday June 5 with Main Event on Kayo Sports. No Kayo subscription required to order. ORDER NOW >

REWIND: How Kambosos Jr. beat Teo! | 05:56

Kostia Tszyu vs. Zab Judah (2001)

The Tszyu family name is back on everyone’s lips thanks to Tim’s meteoric rise and the recent arrival of his brother Nikita on the pro boxing scene. But they have a lot to do if they are to match the incredible memories of their father Kostya – and no memory is as memorable as his victory over Zab Judah.

Earlier in the year, Tszyu picked up a sensational victory over WBA champion Sharmba Mitchell, beating his rival 47-2 into submission. He would beat Mitchell again in 2004, returning from a 22-month layoff to claim a third-round knockout. Both victories were among the finest of his career, but his biggest victory of all was against Judah in November 2001.

Judah was undefeated when they entered the ring in Las Vegas, but suffered their first loss in incredibly controversial fashion.

In the final seconds of round two, Tszyu sent Judah crashing to the canvas with a brutal right cross. The American immediately bounced to his feet before the count had even begun and appeared to tell referee Jay Nady “I’m fine” – only to wobble in the ring and collapse to the floor again.

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Zab Judah threatens referee Jay Nady after a controversial decision.Source: AP

Referee Nady immediately called off the fight, sparking pandemonium as a furious Judah fumed at what he believed was a premature stoppage. Judah attempted to punch and then throw a stool at Nady in jaw-dropping scenes. Nonetheless, Tszyu walked away with the IBF, WBA and WBC 140-pound titles, the first undisputed light-welterweight champion in over three decades.

Australian boxer Lionel Rose (left) takes a left hand punch to the head from reigning world bantamweight champion Masahiko ‘Fighting’ Harada, during their title fight in Tokyo, Japan on February 27, 1968 (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Lionel Rose vs. Masahiko ‘Fighting’ Harada (1968)

At just 20 years old, the Australian Indigenous athlete traveled to Tokyo to take on a sports legend in Harada. Rose had never fought outside of Australia or New Zealand, and few – if any – gave the youngster a chance against the three-belt world bantamweight champion and local hero. But Harada dominated their encounter to claim a unanimous decision, becoming the first Indigenous boxing world champion – and earning his place as one of Australia’s greatest Indigenous sportsmen.

Jeff Horn pulled off an unprecedented upset against Manny Pacquaio at Suncorp Stadium in 2017.Source: AFP

Jeff Horn vs. Manny Pacquiao (2017)

The teacher against the icon. If you claim to have predicted the outcome of this one, I will call you a liar. In the biggest boxing fight on Australian soil in the modern era, the unknown brawler stunned 51,052 fans when he fought his way through a grueling war with the Filipino superstar – and somehow won . Horn became the new welterweight champion of the world despite much controversy over the score.

Jeff Fenech’s furious reaction to one of the most controversial decisions in boxing history.Source: Limited News

Jeff Fenech vs. Azumah Nelson I (1991)

There’s no shortage of iconic wins for Fenech, but this fight is special for the fact that he didn’t win. Fenech crushed his Ghanaian rival over an incredible 12 rounds in a scintillating display, to be robbed of victory in one of the most stunning decisions in recent boxing history.

“It was total crap – I was robbed,” Fenech said at the time. “The whole world knows I won.”

Fenech was already a three-belt world champion, but last month the WBC revealed it was considering retrospectively awarding the Australian a fourth belt in a bid to make amends for the judges’ all-time howl. .

A roaring crowd saw Fenech lose a rematch in 1992 at Princes Park, Carlton.Source: Herald Sun

George Kambosos vs. Teofimo Lopez (2021)

Teofimo Lopez predicted he would crush the Australian in the first round. Instead, it was Kambosos who knocked Lopez down in the first round and held the upper hand for most of the fight. Kambosos himself was knocked down in the 10th and looked on the verge of defeat, to deliver a masterclass in the final two rounds to become the new lightweight world champion in a stunning knockdown.

“I’m the greatest fighter in Australian history,” Kambosos said.

Australia’s first universally recognized world champion, Jimmy Carruthers, with an unfortunate rival.Source: News Corp Australia

Jimmy Carruthers vs. Vic Toweel I (1952)

South African Vic Toweel was a phenom and the undisputed world bantamweight champion, who had decimated all contenders in his first three title defenses. But that all changed when Australian southpaw Carruthers traveled to South Africa in 1952 and scored one of the most one-sided victories in world title history in front of 28,000 fans.

Jimmy Carruthers, bantamweight boxing champion.Source: News Corp Australia

The 3-1 underdog Carruthers rocked Toweel in the opening seconds and needed just over a minute before sending Toweel through the ropes. Remarkably, the champion returned to the ring and beat the count, before Carruthers brought him back to the canvas shortly after.

In the 2:19 of the fight, reporters claimed the Aussie threw 110 punches – while his opponent didn’t land a single one.

Carruthers was the first Australian to challenge for a universally recognized world title since Bill Lang in 1908, and the first to succeed.

Jeff ‘Hit Man’ Harding in practice.Source: News Corp Australia

Jeff Harding vs. Dennis Andries I (1989)

Aussie Harding was a last minute replacement for this WBC light heavyweight world title fight and a huge underdog. He was absolutely beaten by his rival in the first half of the 12-rounder, but still fought on despite being horribly bloody and bruised – with two swollen eyes and a broken nose to boot. They delivered a round for the ages in the 11th, before Harding – who had never gone beyond 10 rounds – found something special to knock down his rival three times in the 12th and final round and end the fight.

Harding was down on all three judges’ scorecards at the time, but had shown immense tenacity and courage to become Australia’s first world light heavyweight champion.

Commentator Alex Wallau said, “We didn’t know what this fight would turn out to be because Harding was so unknown…but Harding has been as good or better than we could have ever dreamed of.”

Boxer Jeff Harding is shown during his fight in Atlantic City, NJ, with Dennis Andries, who is on the canvas, June 24, 1989. (AP Photo)Source: Regional Media News

Daniel Geale vs Felix Sturm (2012)

Sturm was a longtime WBA middleweight champion, defending his title for a remarkable 13th time on home soil in Germany. Daniel Geale brought his IBF belt to the ring and the duo fought a thrilling and close battle. It was tactical, it was hugely impressive, and Geale won 116-112 x 2, 112-116 – indicating exactly how close this fight was.

Watch one of the greatest boxing fights of all time in Australia: George Kambosos Jr. vs. Devin Haney, Sunday June 5 with Main Event on Kayo Sports. No Kayo subscription required to order. ORDER NOW >

Daniel Geale (L) of Australia celebrates after winning his WBA and IBF middleweight world championship bout against Felix Sturm of Germany at Arena on September 1, 2012 in Oberhausen, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images) Pic. ImagesGettySource: Limited News

Lucas Browne vs. Ruslan Chagaev (2016)

With trunks adorned with the Australian flag, Lucas Browne became Australia’s first-ever world heavyweight champion with a stunning win over Uzbekistan’s Chagaev.

Browne – the 36-year-old late bloomer in the boxing world who had opened the doors to nightclubs on the verge of becoming a boxing hero – was thrown to the canvas in Round 6 by a hard right to the body and a left to the chin. It seemed done and dusted off. Browne was a 3/1 underdog and those predictions were about to come true. But Browne got up, removed the 113 kg of his 196 cm frame from the canvas. It still looked like a matter of time before he lost, only to land the biggest punch of his career – a counter right hand to the chin from Chagaev – to knock down his rival. Chagaev somehow staggered to his feet, but the referee stirred things up soon after as the Aussie unloaded a barrage. History made.

Australia’s Lucas Browne celebrates his win over Ruslan Chagaev of Uzbekistan during their WBA world heavyweight boxing title match in Chechnya’s provincial capital Grozny, Russia.Source: Regional Media News

Dave Sands vs. Carl ‘Bobo’ Olson II (1951)

Dave Sands is the greatest Australian ever to win a world title – although he certainly could have had it had it not been for an untimely death at the age of 26 in 1952. Sands had beaten Olson in a close fight in 1950. But their 1951 rematch was an Aussie. victory for the ages. It was the Australian’s American debut, with the Chicago fight also being the first-ever coast-to-coast televised fight in the United States.

The winner was promised a middleweight title shot by “Sugar” Ray Robinson, and Sands outplayed Olson in a sensational decision win after an epic war. But a scared Robinson reneged on his promise, while fellow middleweight legends Jake LaMotta and Rocky Graziano also avoided a fight with the native Australian. Sands – who has won each of the Australian middleweight, light heavyweight and heavyweight titles – is considered one of our all-time greats and one of the great “what ifs”.

Watch one of the greatest boxing fights of all time in Australia: George Kambosos Jr. vs. Devin Haney, Sunday June 5 with Main Event on Kayo Sports. No Kayo subscription required to order. ORDER NOW >

The legendary Dave Sands leaves a rival devastated.Source: News Corp Australia