Boxer George Kambosos Jr. celebrates with his title belt.
Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

George Kambosos Jr. Gets Controversial Win Over Maxi Hughes

Boxer George Kambosos Jr. got the win over Maxi Hughes, but the boxing world was less than thrilled with the result.

George Kambosos Jr. (21-2 10 KOs) got the nod over Maxi Hughes (26-6-2 5 KOs) in a highly controversial 12 round majority decision on Saturday night in an IBF lightweight title eliminator at the FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Kambosos not only became the IBF mandatory, but he also left with Hughes' IBO belt.

The 30-year-old came into this fight as the 4-1 favorite. By all accounts, Kambosos was supposed to have an easy night at the office going against the older Hughes. He desperately needed a spectacular win to prove he still belongs with the top dogs at 135 pounds, and that his win against Teofimo Lopez wasn't a fluke.

From the opening round, Kambosos looked, as Top Rank analyst Mark Kriegel put it: "befuddled". The southpaw Hughes immediately took the center of the ring and secured decisive control throughout nearly every single round due to his footwork and his controlling of the distance. This was the first time in nine years that Kambosos took on a southpaw. Kambosos had sparred over 250 rounds with Filipino legend, Manny Pacquiao, but that was many moons ago.

Boxing World Reacts to George Kambosos Jr.'s Win

George Kambosos Jr. takes a shot at Maxi Hughes in the ring.

Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Taking advantage of Kambosos' aggression, Hughes capitalized on Kambosos leaning in time and time again. Hughes used beautiful, sound boxing and subtle angles to make Kambosos miss and make him pay. Kambosos definitely had his moments, but he clearly struggles with fighters who have technically sound boxing. The judges scored it 114-114, 117-111 and 115-113 with Kambosos coming out the victor. The boxing community was in an uproar following these scores. There are close fights that can go either way and fights that are a true robbery. This was the latter.

Fellow boxer Josh Warrington called the fight an "absolute f—-ing disgrace", according to Boxing Social on Twitter.

A noticeably upset Tim Bradley Jr. took the time to give his heartfelt condolences to Hughes while subsequently shaming the judges. "Fighters need a union. We need something to protect us because stuff like this can't continue to happen. It's wrong. These judges need to be sought out," Bradley said on the broadcast.

What is next for Kambosos does not seem clear at the moment, but this was not the performance that was going to set up any big fights with the best at 135. Post fight, Kambosos had some words with Shakur Stevenson who was also there to support his friend, KeyShawn Davis. Shakur laughed at the idea of a fight with Kambosos taking place and it appears from the online chatter that the boxing community feels the same way.

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