Jason Mallia predicts “one hell of a fight” between Devin Haney and George Kambosos Jr. having sparred the American in the build-up.
Australian welterweight Mallia was called into the Haney camp last month to help the WBC lightweight champion prepare for his undisputed showdown with Kambosos on June 5 in Melbourne.
The 27-year-old, unbeaten in three fights as a professional, says Haney was “sharp”, carried a “super-fast” jab and was exceptionally accurate.
Mallia impressed Haney and his team over two spars – “they liked the fact I made him think” – and though he wants countryman Kambosos to win, he has first-hand experience of the sizeable task that awaits.
“He’s got a super-fast jab,” Mallia said.
“I carry myself on reading punches very well, but he’s got a super-fast jab. His cornerman was calling it the ‘million dollar jab’.
“He’s lightning fast, and he picks his shots very well.”
“Devin Haney is very sharp; he picks his shots very well. When he throws three shots, two of them land, he’s very accurate, he’s pinpoint,” he added.
“Being an Aussie boy, I’d love to see the Australian win but having this experience of sparring Devin, I just believe it’s going to be one hell of a fight and regardless of who wins, it’s going to be fantastic for boxing.”
Mallia scored a first round KO win in early May and had yet to return to full training when he got the surprise call to spar Haney.
But an “opportunity like this” was too good to turn down and the five-time national amateur champion quickly ditched all other plans.
“These guys were the ultimate professionals, and when I walked into the gym, he was sitting in the ring getting a massage from his masseuse,” said Mallia.
“But he is a very, very humble guy, he welcomed me with open arms. He came out to me straightaway, and we had a good chat and then we warmed up and I got asked to do five rounds.
“I did well and post sparring, he got out of the ring and told me that he wanted me to do some more spars while he was down here. I was very humbled to get the opportunity to work with Devin, he is world class and for me to get called back it was reassuring to know that I could mix it with some of the top dogs.”
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