Haney outboxes Diaz to defend WBC lightweight title

Devin Haney quickly kept his WBC light-weight title on Saturday, winning by a unanimous choice over opposition Joseph Diaz in a 12-round clash that showcased among boxing’s inmost departments.

The unbeaten Haney, 23, developed a big lead on points in the early rounds at the MGM Grand Hotel and Gambling Establishment in Las Vegas then outboxed Lopez down the stretch to raise his record to 27-0 with 15 KOs.

“I went in there and got the job done,” stated Haney. “I hit him with some good shots from the beginning but he is a true champion.

“I needed to bring the pet dog out and get the win. They stated I had no chin however I think I revealed that I carry out in this battle.”

Haney proved to be too fast and too skilled for fellow American Lopez, who constantly moved forward but lacked an effective jab and didn’t take advantage during the few moments he had Haney covering up.

The 29-year-old Diaz came on strong in the 12th but by then it was too late as Haney had already won the majority of the rounds. Two judges scored it 117-111 and the third had it 116-112 for Haney.

Haney, who came in as a 7-1 favourite for the 135-pound clash, also took advantage of his two-inch height advantage and seven inches reach.

Former two-division champion Diaz had his eight-fight win streak snapped as his record dropped to 32-2-1 with 15 KOs.

Diaz said the judges gave too many rounds to Haney.

“I believed it was a more detailed combat,” Diaz said. “I am going to return to the drawing board. He is a wise fighter and utilized his variety. He is an extremely clever protective counter-punching fighter.”

Haney is hoping his next fight will be against newly crowned unified king George Kambosos, who was at ringside Saturday.

Last weekend Kambosos shocked champion Teofimo Lopez to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF titles.

Kambosos told Haney after Saturday’s win that he wants to fight him in front of 80,000 fans at a stadium in his native Australia.

“Crowds do not win battles, I win battles,” Haney shot back.

Kambosos applauded Haney’s boxing design when they satisfied up outside the ring after the battle.

“He boxed dazzling,” Kambosos said of Haney. “If we make it occur it will be an amazing battle. However I saw lots of holes.”

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.