Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr: ‘I’m going to overwhelm’ Devin Haney to come out victorious on Saturday night
By Dan Ambrose: Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. says he’s confident that he’ll unseat WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney this Saturday night with the game plan his training camp has come up for him. The two will be heading on DAZN at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.
Diaz Jr. (32-1-1, 15 KOs) revealed that he’s going to put constant pressure on Haney, 23, rough him up, and force him to fight in the pocket all night.
Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) prefers to stay on the outside and dictate the pace of the fight with his jab.
With George Kambosos Jr. defeating Teofimo Lopez to become the undisputed lightweight champion last Saturday night, the Haney vs. Jojo Diaz Jr. winner could be facing him next.
Haney and his promoter Eddie Hearn have been transparent about their desire to fight Kambosos Jr. next and possibly fight him in Australia. Jojo Diaz Jr. keeps his options open, saying he’ll fight Kambosos or WBA ‘regular’ 135-lb champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis next.
Diaz is ready to wear down Haney
“Absolutely because a lot of people counted George Kambosos out. George Kambosos is a young competitive fighter,” said Joseph Diaz Jr. to Fight Hub TV when asked if he’s motivated after seeing Kambosos defeat Teofimo Lopez last Saturday night.
“I know Devin Haney is going to keep me at bay, but being the dog that I am, roughing him up, making him tired, making him fight in the pocket, and getting him out of there. It’s either going to be a late stoppage or a stoppage in the eighth round.
“I’m planning on overwhelming him with my endurance, my strength, my power, my experience, and the knowledge that I have inside the ring. As I said, this is my moment, and I’m going to come out victorious on Saturday night.
“I want the biggest fights possible for my career,” said Jojo Diaz when asked what he wants next should he beat Haney on Saturday night. “Right now, I feel like I’m at my best, and I want to leave a legacy.
“If George Kambosos wants to make a fight after this fight, let’s make it happen. If not, I want Gervonta Davis next. I like these guys that people are already talking about because I want to face the top-tier, and I want them to know I’m not afraid to fight them.
“And I want to fight these guys unlike people that are calling people out but then when the going gets tough or when the contract is actually sent to them; they’re not going to sign.
“I want to fight George Kambosos or Gervonta Davis next,” said Jojo Diaz.
Pressure is the way to beat Haney because if you keep the action on the outside, he’ll jab all night and win a comfortable points decision, and that’s Haney’s modus operandi.
Devin can’t punch, and he never will, so he’s going to jab all night looking to win a 12 round decision over Jojo Diaz or get a cut stoppage.
Jojo won’t be surprised if he beats Devin
“The outcome of me beating Devin Haney isn’t going to be a shock to me,” Jojo Diaz Jr. said. “It’s going to be like, ‘Alright, I got it done. Now I’m going to focus on somebody else.’
“I’m still young in the game. And I’m 29-years-old and in my prime right now, and my body is at its finest. I’m just ready to go, and I’m hungry. My main focus right now is Devin Haney and getting him out of there.
“After that, focusing on somebody else. I’m looking forward to a clash with him [Kambosos] later on down the line. It’ll be a great clash, and there will be fireworks for the fight fans. I’m just focusing on Devin Haney.
“I just got to go out there and do my thing and come out victorious come Saturday night.
“And I knew Teofimo, and his father thought George Kambosos was a nobody, and I was looking at some of his tapes, and I was looking at how hungry he was.
“I thought, ‘This guy is going to be a major threat, and he’s not going to knock him out in the first round like everybody thinks he is.’
“It wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, but Teofimo Lopez and his father, I think he thought he was going to knock him out because of how big he was.
“Even outside of the camp, he was pretty big, pretty strong and solid, but that weight cut drained him, and he wasn’t able to function how it usually functions at different weights when you’re hydrated.
“So he didn’t have that pop anymore; he didn’t have that quickness like he does,” said Diaz Jr.
It shouldn’t surprise Diaz if he beats Haney because we saw how vulnerable Devin looked in his last fight against Jorge Linares last May.
If Haney were falling apart against an old-timer like the 36-year-old Linares, he’d do the same thing against Jojo Diaz.
Haney was VERY lucky that Linares didn’t have the training to know that he was allowed to keep punching when he was being clinched nonstop.
Devin was in survival mode after being continually hurt by Linares from the ninth round on, and it was pretty ugly to watch all the holding he was doing.
Teofimo was drained from the weight cut
“He’s [Teofimo] still a sharp fighter, but that weight cut really did drain him, and George Kambosos did exactly what he needed to do,” said Jojo on why Teofimo lost to Kambosos.
“He knew Teofimo Lopez was going to be dehydrated in that fight, and he knew he had to work more, stay out on distance, and not get caught with those shots.
“And he was getting caught, but right after getting caught, he was retaliating right away too to keep Teofimo Lopez off of him. He had a great game plan and had a great night of boxing, and deserves everything that was given to him.
“Teofimo Lopez is the type of fighter that is going to progress from this. I just think he needs to make a few adjustments in his camp and maybe move up in weight, and I think he’s still going to be one hell of a fighter.
“I don’t think he won the fight. George Kambosos won the fight. George Kambosos was getting the best of him; he was winning the rounds,” said Jojo Diaz.
It might have been more than the weight cut that left Teofimo looking weak and tired in the second half of the contest. He wasn’t throwing many right hands, which would confirm that he was fighting with an injured right elbow.
Teofimo’s dad Lopez Sr. said it himself that he should have dropped the belts and moved up to 140 a while a long ago because he’s been at 135 for too long. In hindsight, Teofimo should have seen the writing on the wall when he gassed out in the second half in his fight against Vasily Lomachenko in 2020.
- Andre Ward ready for Kambosos Jr to choose between Haney & Lomachenko for next fight
- It’s Devin Haney’s turn. Loma lost, let’s move on!
- Is George Kambosos Jr. the undisputed 135-lb champion? WBC president Suliaman dances around question
- Devin Haney tells Arum to “STFU, Lomachenko had his shot”