Devin Haney Wins Wide Decision Against Joseph Diaz
By: Hans Themistode
Both Joseph Diaz Jr. and Devin Haney claimed that they would take command of their contest in the center of the ring. As the opening bell rang to signal the start of their showdown at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, neither refused to take a step back.
Haney, 23, gladly pumped out a strong jab while attempting to walk his man down. Seemingly attempting to find his timing and navigate his way around the seven-inch reach advantage of Haney, Diaz Jr. fought cautiously.
With the first round safely in his back pocket, Haney continued to outbox his man in the second. Diaz Jr., a former world champion at 130 pounds, ate a steady diet of straight rights and jabs throughout the duration of the round.
Having spent the majority of the first two rounds playing defense, Diaz Jr. picked up the pace in the third. He relentlessly attacked the midsection of Haney and followed it up several overhand rights.
As the rounds ticked by, both fighters worked up a lather and began exchanging in the middle of the ring. While it was the sort of dog fight Diaz Jr. was hoping for, it was Haney who took full advantage. He effortlessly boxed and moved while tagging his man with numerous hard shots.
A confident Diaz Jr. was undeterred in his attack, however. And in the seventh, things began turning around. The 29-year-old highly ranked contender landed a huge right-hand square on the chin of Haney. He then followed up his best shot of the night with numerous rights and lefts to the body.
With Diaz Jr. gaining momentum, he got it going again in the eighth. A much more complacent and reserved Haney spent most of the period attempting to avoid the hard shots of his foe.
In the championship rounds, Haney regained his composure and began boxing well. He connected with his own big punches to the body in an attempt to slow Diaz Jr. down.
In the 12th and final round, Diaz Jr. fought like a man who knew that he needed a knockout to win. He started the period in a frenzy. He rushed Haney from the start of the bell and pushed the pace. To his credit, Diaz Jr. found a ton of success. At times, he appeared to buzz Haney. Still, the current WBC lightweight belt holder never seemed to be in any true trouble.
While Diaz Jr. did his best to close the show, Haney showed his resolve as he fought back in the waning seconds of the period.
In the end, though Diaz Jr. had his moments, he agreed with the judge’s scorecards. Both Dave Moretti and Max DeLuca scored it 117-111, while Tim Cheatham had it 116-112 in favor of Haney who retained his 135-pound title.
Devin Haney To “Jo Jo” Diaz: “There’s Nothing He Can Do To Win”
By: Hans Themistode
Devin Haney was beginning to lose hope.
With the 22-year-old WBC lightweight champion calling for showdowns against the top names in his division, it seemed more and more likely that his next ring appearance would be against an unworthy foe. However, with Ryan Garcia forced to withdraw from his showdown against Joseph Diaz due to surgery on his right wrist, Haney saw it as an opportunity.
After huddling up with promoter Eddie Hearn, the pair reached an agreement with Diaz to face Haney instead. The pair will now square off on December 4th, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Though on paper, Diaz appears to be the most arduous task of Haney’s title reign, the Las Vegas, resident believes he couldn’t have asked for a more favorable matchup.
“At the end of the day, skills pay the bills,” said Haney during their joint press conference. “I feel like his style will be tailor-made for me.”
Haney’s overwhelming confidence with how his showdown against Diaz will shake out mostly stems from how the early portion of his career has gone thus far. Though Haney is barely of drinking age, he’s gone on to dominate the competition. Most recently, Haney picked up the most impressive win of his career, a 12 round unanimous decision over former multiple division champion, Jorge Linares.
Diaz, on the other hand, isn’t unnerved by what he’s up against. With wins over Tevin Farmer and Javier Fortuna, the 28-year-old is convinced that he’s in the prime of his career. In the mind of Haney, however, Diaz being in his prime is extraneous.
As the WBC belt holder takes a long, strong look at the skillset of his upcoming opponent, he simply doesn’t see where Diaz holds an edge in any department.
“There’s nothing he can do to win. He can’t outbox me, I will show him that he can’t out bang me. I have all the tools to win.”
Devin Haney Vs. Joseph Diaz Set For December 4th
By: Hans Themistode
A light bulb flickered on in the mind of Eddie Hearn. In no way, shape or form was the long-time promoter happy when he heard Ryan Garcia was forced to remove himself from his upcoming showdown against Joseph Diaz due to wrist surgery. But, he saw it as an opportunity.
With Devin Haney continuing to call for a big-time fight, Hearn slid a worthwhile contract across the desk of the former 130-pound champion, Joseph Diaz. Originally, Diaz was set to make $1.5 million against Garcia and appeared hesitant to accept a $1 million dollar offer to take on Haney instead.
However, with Hearn offering Diaz slightly more money than what he was expected to make against Garcia, Diaz has quickly signed his name on the dotted line. The two will now officially square off on December 4th, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Diaz, 28, opted to end his time at 130 pounds after an opportunity to win gold five pounds north became available. Initially, Garcia was pegged to take on former multiple division titlist, Javier Fortuna. Nevertheless, those plans were scrapped once Garcia revealed that he would be taking time away from the ring to focus on his mental health.
With only a few weeks to prepare, Diaz jumped at the chance to move up in weight to face Fortuna. Despite coming in as the smaller man, Diaz dominated their showdown, winning a wide unanimous decision.
Following the victory, Diaz wrapped the interim WBC crown around his waist. And with that, he immediately became Haney’s mandatory challenger, something the 22-year-old embraced. However, until recently, Diaz appeared more interested in facing Garcia. That is, until Hearn increased initial his offer.
As for Haney, the Las Vegas, resident couldn’t be happier with the news. In his most recent trip to the ring, Haney thoroughly outboxed multiple-time champion, Jorge Linares. But while Haney’s performance was nearly flawless, he received his fair share of criticism for how things unfolded down the stretch. With Haney dominating, Linares landed a picture-perfect right hand that left Haney on wobbly legs. He would then spend the remainder of their contest refusing to engage before cruising to a unanimous decision victory.
Ultimately, Haney has dissected the film of his performance in an attempt to correct what went wrong. In the end, although Haney was far more defensive in the latter rounds, the 22-year-old believes he can use that experience to his advantage.
“I was born to be great, so these are the moments I get up for,” said Haney. “I learned a lot from my last fight. It made me a more dangerous fighter. You guys can expect a ton of excitement and explosion in this fight!”
Joseph Diaz: “I’m A Fight Devin Haney In December”
By: Hans Themistode
Joseph Diaz was over the moon when it was announced that he would be taking on Ryan Garcia. With the two originally slated to square off on November 27th, Diaz was fully convinced that after just a few rounds, he would leave the undefeated, flamboyant star flat on his back.
Regardless of Diaz’s excitement for their showdown, he was ultimately despondent when news broke of Garcia suffering a serious injury to his right wrist that will require surgery to repair. Initially, Garcia was hopeful that their contest could take place in the first quarter of 2022. However, with the opportunity to pocket the exact same amount of money and not only step through the ropes sooner, but for a world title, Diaz has opted to change course.
“I’m a fight Devin Haney in December y’all I promise,” stated Diaz on his social media account.
At first, Diaz mulled long and hard over the idea of facing Haney. With the former 130-pound champion set to make $1.5 million dollars against Garcia, as opposed to $1 million against Haney, the financial rewards didn’t quite add up. Since then, however, promoter Eddie Hearn, who works alongside Haney, recently revealed that he upped the ante, offering Diaz the same money to face Haney. That in turn, has left Diaz smiling from ear to ear and anxious to face the undefeated titlist.
While negotiations are still ongoing, Diaz is already exuding an extreme amount of confidence. During his near decade-long career, the 28-year-old Diaz has faced some of the most well known fighters in three separate weight classes, including against the likes of Gary Russell Jr., Tevin Farmer, and most recently, Javier Fortuna.
Diaz though, has taken a quick snapshot of the names plastered to the resume of Haney and can’t help but notice two things. For starters, Diaz finds it arduous in recognizing most of the fighters Haney has faced. Second, and most importantly, Diaz realizes that while Haney and Garcia have two completely different styles, they have one thing in common.
“Like Ryan Garcia hasn’t been tested, I’ll give Devin his first L.”
Ryan Garcia Vs. Joseph Diaz Set For November 27th
By: Hans Themistode
After hurling several verbal threats at one another for months, both Ryan Garcia and Joseph Diaz will now let their fist do the talking.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN, the pair have verbally agreed to a November 27th, showdown in Los Angeles California.
For Garcia, everything appeared to be fine on the outside.
The lightweight contender had recently peeled himself up off the deck against Luke Campbell earlier this year, to score the seventh-round stoppage victory. With the biggest win of his career and millions of followers on his social media accounts, Garcia appeared to be on top of the world. That is, until he revealed he was dealing with severe mental health issues.
That in turn, led to Garcia withdrawing from his expected showdown against Javier Fortuna. Stepping in to replace Garcia on short notice, was Diaz. Despite moving up in weight, Diaz would go on to register a fairly one-sided unanimous decision victory.
Several in boxing circles began speculating whether or not Garcia was unnerved about the idea of facing Fortuna in the first place. However, with the 23-year-old now set to face the man who beat him, Garcia believes those rumors should be put to bed.
“Since he came out and beat Fortuna I took the opportunity to beat JoJo,” said Garcia to ESPN. “Now it ends questions if I was scared to fight Fortuna.”
While Garcia is thrilled with the opportunity to shut down his naysayers, more importantly, he simply can’t wait to step back inside the ring. Having spent the past several months away from the sport entirely, Garcia revealed that his absence has left a hole of sorts in his life. Not only does the lightweight contender yearn to return to the bright lights associated with the actual night of the fight but even the minutia of the sport is something he craves to get back to.
“I’m excited to be back; I’m ready to continue my momentum where I left off. I missed the sport of boxing. I missed the ring. I missed sparring.”
Devin Haney: “I’m The Most Avoided Fighter In Boxing Today”
By: Hans Themistode
An epiphany of sorts suddenly hit Devin Haney this past weekend.
Coming off the biggest win of his career against former multiple division champion Jorge Linares on May 29th, the WBC lightweight titlist is anxious to get back in the ring. With that said, he believes the feeling isn’t exactly mutual for many of the division’s top names.
“I’m the most avoided fighter in boxing today,” said Haney on his social media account.
Haney’s belief that many fighters are hesitant to step into the ring with him stems from what he deems is a guaranteed title shot, when it’s their turn in the pecking order.
For starters, former WBC lightweight interim champion Ryan Garcia was appointed as the mandatory challenger to Haney’s title. While the undefeated California native could have taken him on, he opted to face Luke Campbell instead, stopping him in the 7th round earlier this year. Garcia’s reasoning behind moving away from a fight with Haney was that he believed their contest should be given more time to build into a mega event.
Recently, Joseph Diaz, a former titleholder at 130 pounds, moved up in weight to challenge Javier Fortuna. With their contest listed as a title eliminator, Diaz took hold of the WBC interim crown once he was announced the winner on July 9th. Since then, the newly turned 135-pound contender has openly called for a showdown with Haney.
With that said, rumors have surfaced that Diaz could be a potential opponent for either Garcia, or multiple division champion, Gervonta Davis.
News of yet another mandatory challenger possibly heading in another direction has prompted Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) to simply shake his head. In short, the Las Vegas resident can’t recall anything even remotely close to this happening in the history of boxing.
“These fighters need to stop with the excuses,” continued Haney. “If you don’t wanna fight me just say that. This will be the first time in history that you see two mandatories opt-out to fight the champion.”
While Haney has grown irritated with what he feels is a lack of opponents stepping up to the plate, he remains hopeful that he’ll draw a big name for his next ring outing. Until then, the 22-year-old will continue to publicly castigate those who fail to face him.
Joseph Diaz: “I Think I’ll Stop Ryan (Garcia) In The Later Rounds”
By: Hans Themistode
After picking up the biggest win of his career, a seventh-round stoppage against Luke Campbell earlier this year, Ryan Garcia appeared to be on top of the boxing world. The highly-rated lightweight contender had his pick of the litter in terms of who he could face next. Yet, with the California native pulling out his showdown against former multiple division champion, Javier Fortuna, due to mental health concerns, Joseph Diaz stepped up to the plate.
The former 130-pound belt holder opted to move up in weight to take on his naturally bigger opponent. With Diaz picking up the win and with Garcia resume his training under the tutelage of trainer Eddy Reynoso, a matchup between the two is currently being discussed.
If, in fact, a matchup does materialize, Diaz is convinced that his past ring experiences will give him the edge.
“I’m going to take him to a place he’s never been before, physically and mentally,” said Diaz during an interview with ESPN. “Ryan Garcia, I feel like he’s a very talented fighter but he’s never been in the ring with the guys I’ve been in the ring with: some warriors trying to take your head off, not guys I’m going to put on a highlight reel.”
While many of boxing’s biggest fights have been met with several promotional roadblocks, Diaz vs. Garcia figures to be easy to make. Both fighters are under the same banner, Golden Boy Promotions.
Diaz, 28, seemingly has no interest in moving back down to 130 pounds. On more than one occasion, the stocky southpaw struggled on the scales. In his lone appearance at 135, he appeared powerful for the weight.
While a deal is far away from being consummated, should it come to fruition, Diaz figures to be a significant underdog. The fast and flashy Garcia has built an incredible fan base and has left most of his opponents comatose within minutes.
Still, despite the highlight reels, Diaz is unafraid of what Garcia brings to the table. As a matter of fact, the California native not only exudes an incredible amount of hubris heading into their possible showdown but he’s also certain that he’ll get the job done before the final bell.
“I think I’ll stop Ryan in the later rounds. My pressure and body shots will be too much for him. He’ll be feeling my shots and trying to hold and hug but I think my overwhelmingness will be one of the keys to victory.”
Gervonta Davis Vs. Joseph Diaz Could Reportedly Be Explored
By: Hans Themistode
After pocketing the biggest win of his career, Gervonta Davis appears to be on track to making a return later on this year. According to Lance Pugmire of The Athletic, one opponent, that is at the very least being explored, is former 130-pound belt holder, Joseph Diaz.
The California native rolled the dice on himself recently and cashed in. Following the loss of his IBF super featherweight world title on the scales against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KOs) was forced to settle for a majority decision draw. Seemingly unable to make 130 pounds anymore, Diaz accepted a risky short notice fight against multiple division belt holder, Javier Fortuna at 135.
Despite being deducted one point in the fourth round for hitting his man behind the head, Diaz cruised to a unanimous decision victory. With the win, Diaz picked up the WBC 135 pound interim title and is attempting to lure Devin Haney, the sanctioning bodies full belt holder, into the ring.
But while Diaz would love to get his hands on Haney, he could find himself lined up against Davis instead.
Just a few short weeks ago, the Baltimore native proved that his concussive knockout power can be just as devastating in a higher weight division. For the first time in his relatively brief career, Davis (25-0, 24 KOs) made the jump to 140 pounds. Greeting him at the door, was former WBA “Regular” titlist, Mario Barrios.
Although Davis gave up several inches in both height and reach, he had little to no trouble dealing with a much bigger man, dropping him several times over before ultimately stopping him in the 11th.
For the past few years, Davis has campaigned in several weight classes. In 2019, two of his three fights took place at 130 pounds while his final ring appearance was held at 135. In his lone showing in 2020, Davis squeezed back down to 130 pounds. No matter the weight class though, each result was the same as Davis scored the knockout victory.
Immediately following his win over Barrios, Davis added another title to his already overflowing mantle. Currently, he holds the WBA “Regular” at 130, 135 and now, 140. Content with whoever is thrown in his direction, Davis stated that he would have no issue competing in any of the weight classes in which he holds a title.
With Diaz now settling in at 135, if a matchup against Davis does take place, the Baltimore product could drop in weight for his next challenge. Regardless of what’s to come, Davis, as stated on his social media account, appears to be gearing up for a return to the ring in the fall.
“October, I’m back.”
Tevin Farmer On Joseph Diaz: “Karma Is A B*tch”
By: Hans Themistode
The moment the scale underneath the feet of Joseph Diaz read 133.6 pounds, Tevin Farmer couldn’t stop himself from grinning.
With Diaz unable to make the 130 pound limit for his IBF-mandated title defense against Tajikistan Rakhimov this past weekend, the championship he worked so hard to acquire against the aforementioned Farmer was taken away from him.
To the former belt-holder, there was something ever so satisfying about Diaz losing his belt on the scale.
“Karma is a b*tch,” said Farmer during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “What goes around comes around.”
For Philadelphia’s Farmer, Diaz (31-1-1, 15 KOs) wouldn’t have lost his title in the first place if he did right by him. Roughly one year ago, Farmer fought Diaz inside of a packed pre-pandemic arena in Miami Florida. Although many expected their contest to be a close one, few believed Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KOs) wouldn’t walk away with his world title still safely wrapped around his waist.
Still, to the surprise of many, Farmer didn’t look like the slick boxer everyone had grown accustomed to seeing. Diaz tagged his man with shots that normally whiz inches near the head of Farmer. Simply put, the former titlist was off his A game.
With the first defeat of his career in over eight years, Farmer attempted to make amends for his poor outing. Not needing anytime to ponder his future, Farmer immediately enacted his rematch clause. Talks progressed and part two between them started to look more and more like a reality.
However, as was the case with most sports at the time, COVID-19 crumpled up their bout agreement as the deadly disease made it nearly impossible for the pair to enter the ring against one another at the time.
According to Farmer, his clause allowed him a five-month window in which their rematch had to take place. For team Diaz, on the other hand, regardless of a worldwide pandemic, the contract had expired.
Farmer remains adamant that he should be given more time due to the current circumstances of COVID-19. But, by all accounts, Diaz appears more than willing to run things back with Farmer as long as a few extra zeros are attached to his paycheck.
The chance to avenge the loss was once priority number one for Farmer. But, with Diaz no longer holding his world title, Farmer is now lukewarm about the idea.
“Right now it’s pointless. The whole point of the rematch clause was to fight for my title again but it didn’t happen. I had to fight him within five months but we couldn’t fight because of Covid. I could’ve sued a lot of people but that’s not what I’m about so I took it on the chin.”
It isn’t just that Farmer is now uninterested in facing Diaz if his title isn’t on the line. With the multiple losses Farmer has plastered to his resume, he believes that if he attempts to avenge his defeat to Diaz, that would mean that he would have to chase down everyone else who handed him a loss as well.
“I don’t care about avenging the loss because that means I gotta go avenge every loss that I took. That’s like me saying I’m going to fight Jose Pedraza again or the guy that beat me in my first pro fight. It’s really nothing.”
At the moment, Farmer appears to be fully focused on what lies ahead. While he’s still interested in hoisting another world title, Farmer is more concerned with locking down his next fight date. Nothing is set in stone quite yet, but, he does have an idea on when he will be able to return.
“As of right now we’re working on a date in April. Hopefully, we can get the date and go from there.”
Can Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov Take Advantage Of An Overweight Joseph Diaz?
By: Hans Themistode
Missing weight isn’t always a sign that a certain fighter didn’t take training camp seriously. With that being said, when you come in three and a half pounds over the limit, it is an immediate red flag.
For Joseph Diaz (31-1, 15 KOs), the seemingly disciplined super featherweight always appeared to take his job seriously. So when California native came in ridiculously overweight for his clash against mandatory challenger Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov, not only was he stripped of his IBF title but the confidence meter in him picking up the win fell considerably.
For the most part, Rakhimov (15-0, 12 KOs) is an unknown commodity. There is nothing is on his resume that screams impressive, despite his four fight knockout streak. In addition to the lack of big-name opponents he’s faced, Rakhimov will be fighting for the first time outside of Russia.
Make no mistake about it, nothing appears to be pointing in the direction of Diaz. The 28-year-old has not only come in overweight, but he seems to be wrapped up in a back and forth Twitter war with Tevin Farmer, the man Diaz defeated to win the title in the first place.
Still, even with the signs pointing favorably in the direction of Rakhimov, don’t expect him to pull off the win. Not only is the heavy-hitting contender’s resume sorely lacking, but he also hasn’t stepped foot inside the ring for nearly a year and a half. Pair that with this being his first contest stateside and the results ultimately won’t be kind to him.
Despite Diaz sneaking in a few extra snacks during his training camp, he’s a significantly more skilled fighter. He’s also faced a much higher level of opposition. There’s no excuse for coming in three and a half pounds over the weight limit but still, expect Diaz to box his way to a clear unanimous decision victory.