Lightweight champion boxer Devin Haney stands “joyfully by himself” ahead of his undisputed title fight on Sunday against Australian boxer George Camposos.
But his exhilaration is more than just the match.
The Australian government has granted Haney’s father, Bill, a temporary visa allowing him to work in his son’s corner for Sunday’s fight in Melbourne, Australia.
Hani the Elder was initially denied a visa due to his conviction and 40-month prison stay 30 years earlier. Bell was indicted three decades ago for his involvement in a cocaine conspiracy case. For the past two months, he and his combat promoters have worked frantically to get the visa refusal to be lifted.
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Fight promoter Lou DiBella told USA TODAY Sports+ that after new Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Labor won elections on May 23, the previous government’s travel stance has eased.
“It’s not easy getting into Australia with that kind of history,” DiBella said of Bill Haney’s criminal record. “This literal change of government occurred, after which I was notified in an official government document that we ‘no longer deny (Bill Haney)’.”
DiBella asked the Australian government for clarification.
“Well, that means we’re getting him a temporary visa,” DiBella said. “So we booked him a flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to Brisbane to Melbourne, and he’ll be here at 2pm on Saturday night (local time).”
The ESPN televised card begins at 11 a.m. on Sunday in Australia (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET).
WBC Lightweight Champion Devin Haney (27-0, 15 points) will meet Camposos (20-0, 10 points) for the IBF, IBF and WBO belts.
Although Haney is the -170’s favorite in Tipico Sportsbook, it might be his toughest fight yet.
Unrelenting Camposos relied on pressure to upset Teofemo Lopez in November and was ready to meet former champion Vasily Lomachenko before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine inspired the third-tier champions to take up arms alongside his fellow Ukrainians.
In his final bout, Haney won by unanimous decision over former lightweight champion Jorge Linares, and produced an impressive boxing show. But Linares shook him in Round 11 with his right hand before Hani returned to the safety corner where he was quietly instructed to burn the last three minutes and allow the judges to determine the outcome.
Haney will still be without his latest coach, Ben Davison, who was banned from leaving England as a result of his boxing business dealings with alleged drug gang leader Daniel Kinahan, according to Bill Haney and the match’s co-promoter, Bob Arum. .
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“Thank God,” Bill Haney said, when told that his visa refusal had been lifted.
DiBella later texted Victor Conte, the fighter’s fitness/conditioning advisor, “Thank God!” , which translates to, “Thank God!”
“They are both very happy and grateful,” DiBella said.
Bell lamented his past criminal problem earlier this week, citing his release from prison as an epiphany that made him a dedicated father — the person who helped guide his son through the many Las Vegas boxing gyms to accumulate the lessons and knowledge required to become a champion.
“No matter what they say about me now,” he said, “being there for someone like (Devin), that’s what I’m most proud of.” “All the tools we developed together will be available for implementation. It will be an upcoming party for Devin, the super boxer. I am happy to be a part of it.”
Now Bill will be present in person, not in spirit.
“He was shocked, so grateful and so happy,” DiBella said of Bell. “I am happy. We never stopped working on this.”
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