WBC lightweight champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney (26-0 15 KOs) is promising to show former IBF super featherweight champion Joseph ‘Jojo’ Diaz Jr. (32-1-1, 15 KOs) things he’s never seen before.
This is a must-win fight for Haney because he’s hoping he can face undisputed lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr. next for all the titles.
Haney’s promoter Eddie Hearn told the media on Wednesday that he’s ready and willing to fight Kambosos in Australia next. Kambosos will be attending Haney’s fight against Jojo Diaz Jr on Saturday, so there’s a good chance he’ll fight the winner.
Jojo Diaz Jr. has a lot of experience in the sport, so it’s unlikely that Haney will be able to show him things he’s not seen during his career.
Haney is almost surely going to try and box Diaz Jr. to keep him at the end of his long jab so that he can’t land his power shots. Devin doesn’t have the strength to stand and trade with Diaz Jr. without getting badly hurt.
Haney expects to school Jojo Diaz
“Jojo Diaz is going to come in there and give his best effort, but I will show I’m a totally different animal,” said Devin Haney during Wednesday’s media workout with Matchroom Boxing.
“I will show him some things he’s never seen before,” Haney continued about Jojo Diaz. “He claims he has experience but he’s never been in the ring with Devin Haney, and I will show on December 4th.
“This is my second fight working with Ben Davison. Ben Davison has been a tremendous help,” Haney said.
“Alongside with my dad, he’s been putting the game plan together. You’ll see on December 4th, you’ll see me execute the things we’ve been working on,” said Haney.
We’re likely to see a lot of jabbing and moving from Haney, as he’ll be trying to keep the action on the outside to prevent Diaz from getting his shots off.
Haney’s inside game is essentially him tying up his opponents to keep them from throwing punches. In that respect, Haney is similar to George Kambosos Jr, who lacks an inside game as well.
You can expect that each time Diaz gets in punching range on Saturday, Haney will jump at him and tie him up in a tight clinch. Haney isn’t going to mix it up with Diaz in close because that would be a mistake due to his lack of an inside game.
Devin wants to show improvement
“I thought it was a great performance,” said Haney on his last fight against Jorge Linares on May 29th. “It was a shutout up until the ninth round. He landed a good shot, it’s part of boxing.
“Sometimes you’re going to take a shot, but I recovered and came back,” said Haney. “That fight made me even better. You guys will see on Saturday night that I’m a much better fighter than I was in my last fight.
“I’m thankful to be compared to the best boxer [Floyd Mayweather Jr.] of the last era, but I have to live up to it and go in there and execute,” said Devin about how some fans compare him to Mayweather.
“I still have a lot of work to do, and on December 4th, I will show how much work I have to do and how much better I am and they’re going to keep comparing me,” said Haney.
It’s important for Haney to show a lot of improvement on defense for this fight against the 29-year-old Jojo Diaz Jr on Saturday night because he can ill afford to get clipped by a fighter like him.
Haney getting badly hurt by Jorge Linares in the ninth round last May was a near disaster, as he never recovered fully and was getting rocked continuously the last three rounds.
Contrary to what Haney says about it being a “great performance” from him against Linares, the fact is that it wasn’t.
The only thing “great” about Haney’s performance was his ability to clinch his way out of the fight in the last quarter of the contest to keep from getting knocked out.