Devin Haney (c) vs. George Kambosos Jr. -- Round 12: Haney clinched several times to smother Kambosos trying to press forward. Haney cracked with a right hand and Kambosos continued to try to come forward. Haney just completely avoided any desperation offense from Kambosos, cruising to the final bell and clearly deserving a wide decision win. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (119-109 Haney)
Boxing results, highlights, takeaways: Deontay Wilder returns to form, Devin Haney ready to move on
Three big names were in action on a busy Saturday night with all three picking up big wins in different ways
Saturday was a big day for the sport of boxing, with several major events featuring some of the sport's best fighters. Two undisputed championships were on the line as well as former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder returning to action for the first time since losing back-to-back fights to Tyson Fury.
The day kicked off with Claressa Shields scoring a win over old rival Savannah Marshall in London to become undisputed women's middleweight champion. In Melbourne, Australia, Devin Haney outworked George Kambosos to earn a decision win and retain his status and undisputed lightweight champion. Then everything wrapped up in Brooklyn with some savage violence as Wilder needed less than one round to score a brutal knockout of Robert Helenius for his first win since November 2019.
Let's take a look at the biggest takeaways from all the biggest fights of the day.
Wilder is still a bad, bad man
The "Bronze Bomber" returned on Saturday night to remind everyone of what his destructive right hand is capable of. Wilder finished rugged veteran and former training partner Robert Helenius in less than a round while landing just three punches total. Wilder called for possible matchups with either unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk or former unified champ Andy Ruiz Jr. to be next. Despite his two losses in three meetings with Tyson Fury, Wilder is still arguably the most dangerous puncher the heavyweight division has ever seen and could make a meeting with either opponent intriguing, even if just for the possibility of that one punch landing clean.
Haney -- and the lightweight division -- can finally move on
In June, Haney made it very clear that he was a better fighter than Kambosos, winning a clear decision to become undisputed champion. Still, the savvy business move by Kambosos and his team to include a mandatory rematch clause -- and for it to also take place in Australia a second time -- meant Haney couldn't move on to the kind of fights everyone wanted to see, namely showdowns with the likes of Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gervonta "Tank" Davis and Ryan Garcia.
Haney was even more dominant in the rematch, utilizing a shark straight right hand to batter Kambosos throughout the fight. There was little doubt that Haney would win the rematch, but it was important for him to look good doing it. He did just that and then made it clear that any big name could come to him if they wanted a shot at the belts.
Haney has long wanted the Lomachenko fight and it seems the easiest to make in an interesting lightweight division. If Davis and Garcia can find their way to a deal, then lightweight will really be in a great place to become the division many expected before Kambosos upset Teofimo Lopez in late 2021.
Shields gets the win she needed
While there has never been any real debate over Claressa Shields' place in the sport, some of her potential star power has been held back by a lack of compelling opponents. Shields has not had the same level of intriguing foes as Katie Taylor, the only woman who may actually be in the conversation with Shields as the best female boxer in the game.
In Savannah Marshall, Shields finally had an opponent worthy of her stunning talents. With the built-in story of Marshall as the lone woman to have ever defeated Shields in a boxing ring -- an amateur win in 2012 -- all the pieces were in place for the biggest fight of Shields' career. Best of all, once the bell rang, Shields and Marshall delivered the goods, going punch for punch in an entertaining clash. The right opponent and a fun fight only served to help Shields moving forward. It was a perfect night for Shields, getting revenge and finally having the kind of classic fight that dots the resumes of all the sport's greatest fighters.
Hopefully, Shields is able to find a way to carry this momentum forward and continue to draw the attention her skills deserve.
CBS Sports will be with you throughout the entire way on Saturday for both events, so be sure to follow along with the live results and highlights below.
- via first-round knockout
- via ninth-round knockout
Is the @BronzeBomber back? The answer to that is a resounding YES. Wilder makes his return to @barclayscenter by adding another highlight reel KO to his record, finishing Robert Helenius in RD1 of their WBC World Heavyweight Title Eliminator. #WilderHelenius pic.twitter.com/RkDenCGZEQ— Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing) October 16, 2022
In his first fight since back-to-back losses to Tyson Fury, all it took was one round and one punch for Deontay Wilder to finish Robert Helenius.
The fight is over! Deontay Wilder is back.
R1: One clean punch may be all it will take to win this round in the final 30 seconds. Big right counter knocks Helenius cold!
R1: Wilder lands a right hand and gets shoved into the ropes by Helenius.
R1: Helenius lands a straight right. Wilder continues to circle away in a very slow opening frame.
ROUND 1: Wilder jabs to the body early. Both fighters start very slow and tense.
Helenius, a former sparring partner of Wilder, enters the fight on a three-bout win streak including back-to-back KOs of Adam Kownacki.
Both heavyweights are in the ring. Michael Griffin will be the referee.
It's main event time in the PBC on Fox PPV from Brooklyn, New York. It's time for the return of Deontay Wilder as he welcomes fellow towering slugger Robert Helenius.
Official result: Devin Haney def. George Kambosos via unanimous decision (119-109, 118-110, 118-110) to retain the undisputed lightweight championship
Devin Haney (c) vs. George Kambosos Jr. -- Round 11: 34-1 punches landed advantage for Haney in the previous round according to ESPN. Haney rocked Kambosos with a sweeping hook that sent Kambosos stumbling backward briefly. Another crushing right landed for Haney in the final 30 seconds of the fight before Kambosos landed one right hand. Kambosos just can not do enough in any round to compete. He needs a miracle in the final round. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (109-100 Haney)
Devin Haney (c) vs. George Kambosos Jr. -- Round 10: Haney caught Kambosos in the middle range again early and landed some heavy right hands and left hooks, seeming like he wanted to end the fight. Another big right landed for Haney and Kambosos looked like he was starting to get hesitant to engage again. Kambosos, bleeding heavily from the cut over his eye, did land one good right hand late but spent nearly the entire round getting busted up by Haney's big power attack. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (99-91 Haney)
Over on Fox PPV, Caleb Plant just flattened Anthony Dirrell with a vicious left hook to score a nasty knockout. Dirrell was struggling to stand up after being attended to by medical personnel. Hell of a bounce-back win for "Sweet Hands" after his loss to Canelo Alvarez in November.
Devin Haney (c) vs. George Kambosos Jr. -- Round 9: Kambosos landed another good right hand early before Haney fired off two jabs. Haney is cut over his left eye and Kambosos has responded with some fire. Haney went bak to the jab in an attempt to reassert control of the range. Kambosos landed another big right hand and Haney landed a right and clinched immediately. Kambosos also suffered a cut over his eye. Haney landed some very good shots as both men began to jaw at each other. A wild round but Haney likely still edged it. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (89-82 Haney)