Haney vs. Diaz Jr. heated exchange during pre-fight press conference
By Sean Jones: Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. and WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney got into a heated exchange during Friday’s pre-fight press conference for their December 4th fight on DAZN at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Interestingly, Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) got upset with the 28-year-old former IBF super featherweight champion Jojo Diaz pointing out that he has more experience.
Of all the things that were said by Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KOs) during the press conference, that’s what the 22-year-old Haney latched onto and got worked up. From that point on, Haney interrupted Diaz Jr. every time he tried to speak, and it turned into out of control bickering. It was pure chaos.
Promoter Eddie Hearn failed to moderate, which allowed Haney to talk over Diaz Jr each time he attempted to speak. It was like watching a presidential debate in which one candidate wasn’t following the rules by letting the other candidate speak.
Haney, by the way, is promoted by Hearn, so that kind of tells you why he wasn’t told to wait his turn before speaking.
It’s obvious that the older fighter Diaz has more experience than Haney, who hasn’t really brought anyone in their prime during his six-year career. The best guys Haney has fought in the professional ranks are 35-year-old Jorge Linares and 40-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Jojo Diaz ready to out-dog Haney
“On paper, it’s my toughest test because he’s young, he’s hungry and coming off the best win of his career against Fortuna,” said Haney to Fight Hub TV. “He’s going to bring his all. I’m happy that I can finally get a fighter in their prime, young, and at the top.
“He’s not going to bring nothing I haven’t seen before. He’s going to try and put the pressure on and rough me up, but
“I’m going to do whatever it takes to become victorious,” said Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. during Friday’s pre-fight press conference. “If he wants to box, I’m going to hunt his a** down. If he wants to bang, I’m going to bang it out as well. Whatever he wants to bring.
“I just can’t wait to show Jojo Diaz that he can be a dog, but skills pay the bills,” said Devin Haney. “If that’s his only approach that he’s going to dog me, I’ve seen that my whole career. So if that’s your plan-A and you feel like I’m going to let you dog me and stop me, that’s going to be a long night.
“I don’t feel there’s any doubt with these guys with me because none of them are in a rush to fight me,” said Haney. “Jojo Diaz wasn’t in a rush to fight me.
“I feel like I had to corner him to make him take the fight, and all these other guys it’s the same thing. They know my skillset. They know how much I bring to the table, and if Jojo didn’t take this fight, the world would have known what it really was,” said Haney.
The blueprint is already there on how to defeat Haney from his fights with Alfredo Santiago and Jorge Linares. Haney doesn’t handle nonstop pressure well, especially when he’s being attacked in an all-out manner.
When Santiago jumped on Haney, he injured his shoulder, forcing him to fight with one arm the rest of the way in their fight in 2019.
In Haney’s last fight in May, Linares hurt him with a big shot in the ninth and stunned him repeatedly in rounds 10, 11, and 12. Haney got away with a massive of clinching, which has resulted in him being penalized.
If Jojo Diaz is to win this fight, he can’t let Haney sit back on the outside and box him because that’s what’s he’s going to be trying to do the entire contest.
Haney is a finesse fighter in the Mayweather mold, but not as willing as he used to be to go for a knockout.
Devin says Jojo is “tailor-made” for him
“Come December 4th, they’re going to see. Of course, I can’t overlook Jojo Diaz,” said Haney. “He’s telling us he’s coming in there to try to dog me out.
“I can’t come out of this press conference without telling him, thank you for taking this fight. Thank you for stepping up because most of these guys wouldn’t step up.
“Jojo Diaz is a dog, and he’s shown that. I do feel he’s in the prime of his career, so it won’t take nothing away from my victory when I win. I’ve always been a slick boxer and always had skills. I’ve seen it over and over again, time and time again.
“I feel his style is tailor-made for me,” said Haney. “There’s nothing he can do to win. He can’t outbox and I will show him that he can’t out-bang me. I have the size advantage, everything, and all the tools to win.
“I am not doubting him. I know he will come in and try to do everything he can do to win, but I just feel there’s nothing he can do,” said Haney.
Diaz vows to break Haney down
“I’m a 2012 Olympian, and I’ve fought all these tough fighters already, so it’s not like I’m the type of fighter that is just going to bang it out,” said Jojo Diaz Jr. “I’m going to break your a** down. Just be ready.
“I want to ask you a question. Who have you fought like me that has a style similar to me?” said Haney to Diaz.
“Who have you fought like me?” said Diaz.
“I’m not saying experience, you’re saying experience,” said Haney. “I told you that on paper, you’re my toughest test, but you said you have more experience than me. Who have you fought like Devin Haney?”
“I’m not about that,” said Diaz Jr. “I’m talking about everything I’ve been through as far as being hurt, as far as being cut.
“I’m going to take you to places you’ve never been, I’m going to make you feel some s***. I’m going to cut your a**. You better hope you have a good referee because I’m going to break your a** down,” said Diaz.
“Don’t make excuses,” said Haney.
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