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George Kambosos Jr. to face Maxi Hughes on July 22 in Oklahoma

Photo by Mikey Williams/ Top Rank Inc via Getty Images
Fighters Network

Earlier today Top Rank announced that former undisputed lightweight titleholder George Kambosos Jr. will return to action against streaking Maxi Hughes in an IBF world title eliminator at FireLake Arena in Shawnee, Oklahoma, on July 22.

In the co-feature, Keyshawn Davis will meet wily veteran Francesco Patera in a 10-round lightweight contest. The broadcast will be on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

The fight will be the first time Kambosos (20-2, 10 knockouts) will return to the ring since losing The Ring lightweight championship to Devin Haney, losing back to back decisions last year in his native Australia.

Kambosos, The Ring’s No. 7 rated lightweight, worked his way up the local scene collecting a slew of regional titles along the way. The Australian fought a couple of times in America but didn’t catch the eye. His big break came when he traveled to the UK to edge past Lee Selby (SD 12) in an IBF title eliminator.

That earned him a shot at The Ring, IBF, WBA and WBO lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez. As a huge underdog, he remained calm and composed to upset the gifted American by 12-round split decision.

Hughes (26-5-2, 5 KOs), The Ring’s No. 9 rated lightweight, has been a professional since 2010. For much of the next decade he spent around domestic level but lost when he stepped up, notable in British junior lightweight title challenges to Martin J. Ward (UD 12) and Sam Bowen (TKO 8).

However, the proud Brit impressively outhustled Jono Carroll (UD 10), took Viktor Kotochigov’s unbeaten record (UD 12) and then got over the hump to claim the British lightweight title against Paul Hyland Jr. (TKO 8). The fairytale continued when he added three more wins to his resume including last time out Kid Galahad (MD 12).

Davis (8-0, 6 KOs) was an amateur standout, who won silver at the 2019 World Championships and 2020 Olympics before turning professional in early 2021. The 24-year-old transition has been seamless, he has notably shutout grizzled former world title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos (UD 8) and, most recently, took out Anthony Yigit (TKO 9). He is The Ring’s 2022 Prospect of The Year.

Patera (28-3, 10 KOs) turned professional in 2012. The Belgium fighter won his first 15 fights before losing to the more experienced Yvan Mendy (UD 12) in a European title bid. He then lost to Sean Dodd (SD 12) before winning and losing the European title to Edis Tatli (SD12/ L UD 12). Since then, the 30-year-old has won all 11 fights, notably enjoying a second stint as European champion. He holds wins over Lewis Ritson (UD 12) and Devis Boschiero (TKO 3).

The undercard will be rounded out unbeaten welterweight Giovani Santillan (30-0, 16 KOs) will face Erick Bone (27-6, 14 KOs). A pair of heavyweight contests featuring Mike Balogun (20-1, 16 KOs) against Hemi Ahio (20-1, 15 KOs) and Roney Hines (12-0-1, 8 KOs) takes on Michael Pirotton (7-0, 3 KOs). Jeremiah Milton (9-0, 6 KOs) and Troy Isley (9-0, 4 KOs), will also see action against as yet to be decided opponents.

Questions and/or comments can be sent to Anson at [email protected] and you can follow him on  Twitter@AnsonWainwright