Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) figured to be the man who could capitalize on the young audience at Staples Center there to watch KSI vs. Logan Paul 2, but surprisingly that’s not what happened.
Haney was never in danger of beating Dominican lightweight Alfredo Santiago (12-1, 4 KOs), but outside of a 5th round knockdown, it was an ugly, clinch-heavy affair that saw Haney largely frustrated by Santiago’s size and reach advantage. The crowd booed after the final round as a KO was clearly not on the cards.
“The Dream” was a massive favorite to beat Santiago, who often complained about low blows and getting hit in the clinch while the referee tried breaking them up. Haney threw in combinations and swung like he was going for the KO, getting hit cleanly on occasion and resorting to some wild counter shots. That said, he had the better jab, quicker hands, and clearly had more damaging punches.
Official result: Devin Haney def. Alfredo Santiago by unanimous decision (120-107 x3) to defend WBC lightweight title
Haney revealed in the post-fight interview that he dislocated his shoulder, which could put him on the shelf for a bit. He wants big fights in 2020, including against fellow young prospect Ryan Garcia. Whomever he fights next, we hope it’s more exciting than what transpired on Saturday night, as that was uncharacteristically bad to watch.