After last week’s shock win by George Kambosos Jr over Teofimo Lopez to become a unified lightweight champion, WBC champ Devin Haney (27-0, 15 KOs) made his case to be a Kambosos opponent next with a win over a game but overmatched JoJo Diaz (32-2-1, 15 KOs) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kambosos was in attendance for this matchup as part of DAZN’s broadcast team, and he’ll be in Los Angeles on Sunday for Gervonta Davis against Isaac Cruz.
Haney started off strongly with pinpoint accuracy and punch selection, making the most of his seven-inch reach advantage and fighting from the outside while ripping up Diaz’s body. In the fourth round Diaz really made his presence felt with his own hard body shots and a good left hand up top. He was also able to make the exchanges a little bit uglier and rough around the edges with punches in the clinch and on the break.
Any momentum Diaz had hoped to pick up after taking the fourth was erased by Haney’s much cleaner, more effective work in rounds five and six. He was putting on a boxing clinic both in terms of volume and precision. Haney remained committed to a body attack whether through hooks or straight shots, and Diaz was just not able to match Haney’s output. Diaz, tough as ever, did respond well in the 7th and had the better of the exchanges and many in the crowd were certainly behind him. In the 9th round Haney cracked Diaz with an uppercut that forced Diaz to retreat. Diaz had his moments getting Haney to the corner but couldn’t let his hands go consistently. He did tag Haney in the center of the ring to end the round strongly.
Ultimately the theme of Diaz only sporadically having moments of success while Haney countered him repeatedly and proved to be the much faster fighter. The 12th and final round had the most sustained action and Diaz was able to bother Haney with power shots on multiple occasions. Diaz went for broke but couldn’t find that KO shot, so while he won the round, he clearly lost the fight. Neither fighter having a ton of power meant nothing close to a knockdown but there were moments were both fighters were momentarily stunned.
Official result: Devin Haney def. JoJo Diaz by unanimous decision (117-111, 117-111, 116-112) to remain WBC lightweight champion
Montana Love def. Carlos Diaz by TKO at 1:22 of round 3
Jessica McCaskill def. Kandi Wyatt by TKO at :19 round 7 to remain undisputed women’s welterweight champion
Filip Hrgovic def. Emir Ahmatovic by TKO at :40 of round 3
Marc Castro def. Ronaldo Solis by TKO at :43 of round 2