Devin Haney defeats Joseph Diaz Jr. by unanimous decision

By Mark Elezaj

LAS VEGAS – Devin Haney needed a big opponent for his next WBC lightweight championship fight and that’s exactly what he got when he faced Joseph Diaz in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

All three judges saw the fight for Haney, awarding him the decision by scores of 117-111, 117-111, 116-112.

The Fighting Voice had it 116-112 for Haney.

Diaz looked to bring the fight to Haney, but it was clear that his boxing skills were too sharp and he was able to retain his title via unanimous decision.

Haney got off to a fast start, using his speed and his reach advantage to catch Diaz with heavy punches and sharp combinations.

Haney was also effective with his body work, repeatedly landing flush to the ribs, although his punches went low several times, resulting in a number of warnings from the referee.

Diaz was able to get himself back into the fight in the fourth round, finally able to close the distance on Haney.

Diaz began to land his own punches to Haneys’ body while unloading overhand lefts that clipped Haney on the chin.

Haney, who didn’t cruise to a dominant victory after jumping out to a commanding lead, was forced to overcome some tough spots, especially in the final round after Diaz connected with overhand lefts.

Haney continued to fight his way back with his combination punches and high activity levels that allowed him to end the fight with a 154-113 advantage in total punches landed.

“He said he was going to bring the dog out of me, and that’s exactly what he did,” said Haney, a Las Vegas resident. “He hit me with some good shots. They say I have no chin, but I think I showed it in this fight.”

With his victory, Haney set up a potential four-belt unification bout with George Kambosos Jr. who won the IBF, WBO and WBA lightweight titles the previous weekend after a shocking upset of Teofimo Lopez Jr.

When asked if he would be willing to travel to Kambosos’ home country of Australia, Haney didn’t hesitate.

“Come on, Kambosos. Let’s do it for all the belts,” Haney said. “The real undisputed. Let’s do it next. I’ll go to Jupiter if I’ve got to.”

George Kambosos Jr., was ringside in Las Vegas.

“I saw many things,” said Kambosos, who owns four 135-pound titles. “I’ve been studying this guy for many years. I know exactly what I have to do if that fight is next.”

Kambosos, 28, also mentioned other potential opponents and said he was looking forward to watching Sunday’s lightweight contest between Gervonta Davis and Isaac Cruz in Los Angeles and the Vasiliy Lomachenko-Richard Commey clash next Saturday in New York.

“It comes down to what excites me the most,” Kambosos said.

~The Fighting Voice~

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