Levelling up can always bring to light the true reflection of a fighter, this is what was facing WBC Lightweight champion Devin Haney on Saturday night, but in the eye of the storm, he not only exited unscathed, he give us an understanding that he is at this level to stay, producing a careers best performance with a decision victory over Joseph Diaz Jr. at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“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.”
Haney looked comfortable on route to victory losing just two rounds on the judges scorecards. Haney showed different elements to his repertoire amongst the twelve rounds, he applied pressure, upped his levels of aggression but also proved he had a solid chin, an element he touched on in his statement above.
In the fourth and seventh, Diaz a very willing participant landed an assortment of shots which on occasion would find their mark on the chin of the champion, so it was another tick in the box that the boxing fraternity had beforehand in making their assessment of Haney, a subject matter that needed proving.
Diaz also raised his stock after a gutsy performance told reporters afterwards, “I was trying to dictate to the body, trying to break him down, I ended up coming short … but it was an entertaining fight for the fight fans. … I’m just going to learn from it and adapt from it and just get better.”
Adding, “This is not the end of me; I still want to challenge the best. I feel good at 135 pounds. I think I’m going to stay at this weight.”
Newly unified Lightweight king George Kambosis had a ringside seat for the nights offering, giving his take on his potential foe “I saw many things, I’ve been studying this guy for many years. I know exactly what I have to do if that fight is next.”
It’s a contest that Haney relishes, one in which whatever happens will be away from the home comforts of Las Vegas should he be chosen next with Kambosis eager to defend his supremacy in Australia.
“I’ll go to Jupiter if I got to,” Haney said. “Come on, George Kambosos, let’s do it for all the belts. The real undisputed [champion]. Let’s do it next. No more dispute with who’s the WBC champion.”