Devin Haney Fully Focused on Joseph Diaz Bout
Come December 4, WBC lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney (26-0, 15 KO’s) will stage the fourth defense of his world title. In that contest, Haney will face the challenge of Joseph “Jo Jo” Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KO’s) in the MGM Grand located in Las Vegas, Nevada. For Haney, this will serve as the first follow up prizefight after his best professional win over Jorge Linares. Likewise, Diaz will enter the bout fresh off his successful debut in the division. In that dustup, Jo Jo served Javier Fortuna his third professional loss.
Truthfully speaking, Diaz could have gone after Haney directly after his fight with Fortuna. This is because that particular win appointed him as the mandatory for Haney’s WBC title. Yet, rather than chase the title fight, Diaz chose to pursue a fight with Ryan “King Ry” Garcia. Technically speaking, the Diaz versus Garcia bout was mandated by the WBC but it was evident that King Ry was the fight that Jo Jo wanted more anyway.
Ironically, at one point Garcia was also the mandatory for the Dream’s title but also opted to fight Javier Fortuna. Yet, Garcia pulled out citing mental health complications as the reason why. Ultimately, the Diaz versus Garcia bout also fell apart when King Ry abruptly pulled out citing an injury as the reason. Left high and dry with no opposition, Diaz doubled back and made the bout Haney.
BRING THE HEAT!
Being that Diaz is new to the division, and his talent, Haney is largely viewed as the betting favorite to win. This does not mean that the Dream is looking at him like he is a soft touch. As he told Boxing Social, due to potential fights down the line, it’s very important that he excels on December 4.
“I’m open to do a lot of things but it all starts on Saturday night. I need to go in there and win and that’s what I will do. I will not look past Jo Jo Diaz at all, I know that there is a lot at stake but my main focus in on Jo Jo Diaz.”
Clearly though, as the narrative of him being the favorite has permeated throughout boxing circles, Diaz has taken issue with this view point. As a result, the former super featherweight champion has vowed to take a rough and tumble fight straight to Haney. Rather than being intimidated by this threat, Haney openly invites Jo Jo to try.
“He can come in early and try to be a dog like Teofimo tried and I will use it against him. It will work against him on Saturday night. And he will see the faster that he tries to come in, the harder he tries to come in, I will use it against him!”
Only time will tell how this bout resolves itself but, at this point, it sounds like we should have a high stakes firefight on our hands! In any case, 3kingsboxing will be here to report the aftermath.
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By: Bakari Simpson