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Devin Haney suffers shoulder injury in win over Alfredo Santiago


By Robert Addams: WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) says he injured his right shoulder in beating challenger Alfredo Santiago (12-1, 4 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision last Saturday night. Before the injury, Haney knocked Santiago down in round 5.

Haney, 20, states that his right shoulder came out of the socket after he overextended with a right hand in round 7 in his contest against Santiago at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Haney won on the scorecards by the scores 120-107, 120-107 and 120-107.

Devin was forced to move around after injuring shoulder

Haney says he was forced to move around the ring after he injured his shoulder, and the young crowd, filled with casual boxing fans, booed him.  He was able to come back and still fight well despite by the injury.

Haney says he’s hopeful that his shoulder won’t impact his training for his next fight in 2020, because he says he’s ready for a BIG fight. He wants to take on Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis in 2020, and believes those fights can happen.

Santiago fought to survive – Haney

“I fought a tough opponent that came to survive, and that’s what he did was survive,” said Haney to Fighthype about Santiago. “I hurt him multiple times, but I wasn’t able to get him out of there. I’m happy to get the win. I won every round on the scorecards, and I showed I’m a true champion. The referee was allowing him to get away with some holding and hitting. I just showed that I could fight through anything,” the young 20-year-old Haney said.

“I felt like he was just trying to survive after the knockdown. Early in the fight, he was trying to win. He was committing, and then after I knocked him down, he was just trying to survive. Like I said; he was committing, trying to win the fight, and that’s when I was able to pick him apart with punches,” said Haney in talking about the early part of the fight with Santiago.

“I was catching him with counters, and bait him in. But after the knockdown, it just seemed like he was discouraged. I wanted him to punch. He was standing straight up, and giving me his chin, but he was a crafty fighter. Whenever he thought I was going to commit, he would hold or turn his head. He was a crafty fighter in there, and he showed that he had more experience than what he had on paper,” said Haney.

The tall 5’11” Santiago appeared to lose his ambition to win the contest after Haney dropped him in round 5. He didn’t give up entirely though. In rounds 10, 11 and 12, Santiago caught Haney with a number of hard right hands to the head that got his attention.

Haney talks Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis fights

“This is what champions are made of. They can fight through any condition, and that’s what I showed,” said Haney. “I thought it [the knockout] was going to come, as I had him hurt a couple of times. But he was able to hold and survive. I think the ref allowed him to do some excessive holding, but it’s all part of the game. Yeah, that’s a fight [against Ryan Garcia] that they’re stirring up.

“I think that’s a fight that is going to happen sooner or later,” Haney said about Ryan. “It’s a huge fight already. Every fight that he and I have, it gets bigger and bigger. That’s another fight that’s going to happen as well,” said Haney about Gervonta Davis. “He’s in the 135 pound division, and he’s fighting for the WBA regular title. So that’s another huge fight in the 135-lb division, said Haney.

Unbeaten Ryan Garcia (19-0, 16 KOs) openly said last week that he has no plans of fighting Devin until 2021 at the earliest. The 21-year-old Garcia wants to keep improving with the help of his trainer Eddy Reynoso for the next year, and then POSSIBLY face Haney in 2021.

The fight might not happen then. Garcia is a work in progress right now, and he needs a lot more improvements in his game before he’s ready for an advanced fighter like Haney.  It’s got to be motivating for the 5’10” Garcia to have seen how Haney, 5’8″, had so many problems with the height and reach of the 5’11” Santiago last Saturday night. Garcia isn’t quite as tall as Santiago, but he’s close to that.

Devin Haney talks about his shoulder injury

“My shoulder is alright. I think in the 7th or 8th round, I threw a right hand and it came out of the socket,” Haney said. “Right now, I’m icing it. Hopefully, it heals up fast. I don’t even remember what happened, to be honest,” said Haney about his 5th round knockdown of Santiago.

‘I think it was a right hand. And I hit him with a right hand all through the fight, and he kept turning his head. The referee kept warning me about hitting him behind the head when he was turning it away from the shots. But it’s part of the game.

“I saw that he was overextending with a lot of punches, so I started catching him with counters,” Haney maintains. “I know what happened. He was on the ropes, and I tried to hit him with a right hand and I over-committed it, and that was all,” Haney said in explaining how he injured his shoulder in round 7.

Haney obviously won’t know the extent of his shoulder injury until he sees a doctor about it and/or when he starts training. A lot of fighters are able to continue fighting when their shoulder is dislocated briefly during their fights. It’s only after the contest that they learn about the damage that has been done to their shoulders when get tests done by medical professionals. Hopefully, Haney isn’t sidelined by the shoulder issue. We saw recently with former WBA super middleweight champion George Groves that his career was cut short after his left shoulder was dislocated against Chris Eubank Jr.

Devin comments on crowd booing him

“They booed a little bit, but that was because I was moving around,” Haney stated.  “The reason I was moving around was because my arm was out of the socket. If I moved just a little bit, I couldn’t even put my hand up.

“When I watched the round over, I couldn’t even put my right hand up, because my right shoulder was messing me,” Haney continued. “But it’s part of boxing, and I understand that. I got the win, and I move on to the next. I’m always in the gym, whether it’s a real injury” Haney continued.

‘I don’t think the injury is anything serious. But if so, you go in the gym and work on other things. It’s not always punching. You can develop other things,” Haney said. In the fight, I felt like I could use my jab some more, and that’s why as the fight wore on, I started using my jab a lot more. In the later rounds, I started using my jab, and it worked,” said Haney.

The boxing fans that came to the Staples Center last Saturday were there to see the YouTube celebrities KSI and Logan Paul. These are casual fans that wanted to see action, and they didn’t like the movement that Haney used after injured his shoulder in round 7.

Haney was unaware how experienced Santiago was

“Yeah, I didn’t even know that,” said Haney about Santiago having had 170 amateur fights. “I just got this opponent a week ago, so I didn’t know much about him. We knew he had a fight coming up, but we didn’t know much about him.

“I’m happy got the win. It was my first title defense, and my first of many,” said Haney. “I didn’t think about the crowd too much. Of course, going into the fight, I wanted to knock him out in front of the crowd. But once you get in there, you don’t think about that. When I hurt him, it wasn’t even a huge shot,” Haney said. It was a pretty short shot that I hurt him with. If I hit him [with a big shot], I probably would have knocked him out. Who knows?

“I hit him with some big shots, and hurt him multiple times, but he showed that he can survive. In 2020, I want to make the big fights happen,” said Haney. “I think it’s time that I show that I’m a true champion. In this last fight, I showed that I’m a true champion, and I can fight through anything. But it’s time that I get the big names,” Haney said. “I feel like I’m ready.”

It’s surprising that Haney’s team and promoter Eddie Hearn didn’t do research on Santiago ahead of time to vet him properly as an opponent. How did they not check Santiago’s history to learn that he wasn’t just some inexperienced guy. He had 170 amateur fights in the Dominican Republic, and he was more than ready for Haney.

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