Haney beats Diaz, calls out Kambosos – “Let’s do it for all the belts”
By Allan Fox: Devin Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) did what he had to for him to win a 12 round unanimous decision to retain his WBC lightweight title against the tough Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. (32-2-1, 15 KOs) on Saturday night in their headliner bout on DAZN at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The scores were 116-112, 117-111, and 117-111, all for Haney. Even though the fans at the MGM Grand booed the fight’s results, no argument can be made that Haney didn’t deserve the win.
He threw more punches and was the superior fighter from start to finish. Diaz looked worse tonight than in his loss to Gary Russell Jr. and his 12 round draw against Shavkat Rakhimov. Haney did a better job of stifling Diaz’s offense than those two fighters.
After the contest, Diaz, 29, seemed in denial, saying that he felt the fight results were closer than the scores handed down.
Haney boxed smart, keeping the action on the outside and using strategic clinching to keep Jojo Diaz from landing his shots tonight.
After the bout was over, Haney used his moment in the spotlight to call out undisputed lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. for a fight that could take place in Australia.
Haney impressed by Jojo Diaz
“I knew I was fighting a tough competitor. Jojo Diaz makes it hard for anyone in the ring, and he only had one loss,” said Devin Haney in the post-fight interview.
“He had a lot of experience, and I went in there and got the job done,” said Haney while being booed by the crowd.
“The game plan was to keep him at bay with my jabs and my probes and work my combinations off of it, and that’s what I did.
“From the beginning, I was hitting him with some good shots, and he was picking it up as the fight went on,” said Devin when asked when did he know that Jojo wasn’t going anywhere.
“He’s a true champion, a two-time world champion, so he went in there and gave me a good fight. Like Jojo said, he said he was going to bring the dog out of me, and that’s exactly what he did.
Devin is ready to fight Kambosos now
“I had to bring the dog out, and I had to dog it out to get the win. I got to go back and look at the fight. It was a good fight. I know I’m going to learn a lot from it, but I need to go back and watch the film to see how I can get better.
“He hit me with some good shots, and they say I have no chin, but I guess I showed it in this fight.
“Yeah, definitely [Haney showed power]. Jojo Diaz is a tough competitor, but he kept coming, but I hit him with some big shots to slow him down.
“Come on, Kambosos, let’s do it for all the belts. The real undisputed, let’s do it next. I’ll go to Jupiter if I got to,” said Haney. “I think it’s a great fight [against Kambosos]. He put on a great performance against Teofimo Lopez.
“I think the fans would love to see it. There would be no more dispute for who is the WBC champion, so let’s do it next. It’s very important,” said Haney when asked how important is it for him to settle who is the best at lightweight.
“135 is very tough for me to make. I only want to make it for the big fights, and that is the biggest fight out there for me in the 135-lb division, so that’s what I want to do next,” said Haney.
It will be interesting to see if Haney’s promoter Eddie Hearn can set up a fight between him and Kambosos next. Sunday night’s fight between WBA lightweight champion Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis and Isaac ‘Pitbull’ Cruz could be the decider for Kambosos.
If the Tank vs. Cruz fight winner puts in a more impressive win than Haney’s, Kambosos will likely go in that direction.
Interestingly, Kambosos didn’t seem enthusiastic about Haney’sperformance tonight when he was interviewed. Although Kambosos wasn’t critical of Haney’s win, he didn’t sound excited about what he’d just seen.
Jojo felt the fight was closer
“I think it was a good fight,” said Jojo Diaz after the contest. “And I thought it was a closer fight than what it was. I thought I was dictating the pace, landing some good body shots.
“I’m going to go back to the drawing board and get stronger. This is what I do. I want to challenge the best, and if I come up short, I’m just going to progress and get better.
“I was trying to get my distance and my timing because I knew he was opening up when he was exchanging with his right hands. So I was trying to time him with my uppercut to the body.
“I landed it several times, and I tried to get it in, but he’s a smart fighter. He would go into a clinch and break and get out again and use his distance and use his range. He had a good game plan,” said Diaz Jr. of Haney.
Diaz says he had Haney hurt
“I did; I felt like I had him hurt [in the 12th], a little rocked and stunned in the last round,” said Jojo Diaz about Haney. “But then some vaseline got in my eye, and I was trying to clear that up so I could land a clean shot again.
“It was blurry, but I didn’t want to get caught with a clean shot because he’s a very smart defensive counter shot fighter too. I wanted to make sure I had my Ps and Qs as well.
“I’m going to go back to the drawing board and talk to my team at Golden Boy Promotions and MTK and see what we’re going to do next. As I said, I feel like I belong with the best, and I’m going to keep challenging the best until my career is over,” said Jojo Diaz.
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