Disgraceful fans BOO the American national anthem just before George Kambosos takes on Devin Haney
- Fans booed the Star Spangled Banner as it was performed by Ben Clark
- Greek and Australian national anthems rang out to loud cheers
- Fans stood as one for Advance Australia Fair just prior to the bout beginning
The build-up to George Kambosos Junior’s megafight against Devin Haney was soured when fans at Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium booed the American national anthem on Sunday.
Audible boos rang out when Ben Clark performed the Star Spangled Banner, taking the gloss off what had until then been an electric atmosphere inside the packed venue.
It was followed by a rousing performance of Greece’s Hymn to Liberty by Tina Kokkalis, which drew an incredible cheer from the huge number of Greek-Australian fans in the crowd before the singer launched into Advance Australia Fair – with the entire crowd standing for the song.
Ben Clark gave a fine acapella rendition of the US national anthem but was greeted with a loud wave of booing at Marvel Stadium
The crowd booing Haney on his ring walk was expected – but booing the Star Spangled Banner was a big disappointment (pictured, Kambosos Jr walks to the ring with his father Jim)
Those boos returned and reached a crescendo when Haney emerged for his ring walk before the Aussie came out to rapturous cheers.
Legendary ring announcer Michael Buffer – whose ‘let’s get ready to rumble’ line has become synonymous with boxing – introduced the fighters before the opening bell.
The booing of his anthem didn’t appear to affect Haney, who had the better of the opening rounds behind a great jab.
The booing didn’t appear to affect Haney, who had the better of the opening exchanges
Kambosos Jr sent shockwaves around the world last year as he defeated Teofimo Lopez – who came into the bout on the back of beating Vasyl Lomachenko – to become the WBA, IBF and WBO champion.
The 23-year-old American is unbeaten in his 27 professional outings, last seeing off the challenge of Joseph Diaz with a one-sided unanimous decision win in December last year. He would become the youngest undisputed champion in the four-belt era with a victory.