WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney used fast hands and feet to win a unanimous 12-round decision over gritty Joseph Diaz at MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Saturday night.

The scores were 117-111 [twice] and 116-112.

Maxboxing had Haney the winner by a 117-111 tally.

In the opening stanza, the fighters met in the center of the ring. Haney [27-0, 15 KOs] landed a straight right hand. He also went to the body. Diaz, a southpaw, stepped inside and missed a left hook. He couldn’t reach Haney-who popped him with a combination.

Haney went back to work in round two. Diaz [32-2-1, 15 KOs] jabbed to the body and head. Haney let fly with combinations while Diaz hooked to the midsection and chin. Haney tagged Diaz with an uppercut in the next heat. He also scored with a right and left. Diaz connected with a sneaky uppercut. Haney clipped Diaz with sharp lets.

In round four, Haney moved to his left and jabbed. Diaz landed a solid body shot. Seconds later, he scored with a left to the head. Haney continued to work downstairs. Diaz landed a solid left. Haney’s jab stung Diaz near the end of the round. The young champion threw more rights to the belly in round five. Diaz bore his way inside and landed a hard left to the body. Haney,23, connected with rights around the high guard of Diaz.

Diaz came out punching in round six. Haney kept jabbing and scoring with right hands. Diaz walked into a combination. Haney sat down with an uppercut that scored. Diaz fought back with left hands.

Both boxers scored with uppercuts in round seven. Haney clipped Diaz with counter-right. Diaz, 29, cracked Haney with two hard left hands to the jaw. Haney took the punches without incident. He went back to work scoring with jabs. Haney connected with a straight right to the gut in round eight. Diaz moved after Haney but wasn’t punching enough. Haney jabbed and moved away. The round was his with ease.

Diaz fired shots to open round nine. One landed. Haney landed an inside hook that stopped Diaz in his tracks. Diaz worked downstairs. A big uppercut knocked Diaz back a step. Diaz fired back, catching Haney with right hands. Haney scored with a left round 10. Diaz landed two left hands. Haney jabbed and landed a couple of combinations. Diaz landed a thudding shot to the belly. Haney split the Diaz guard with a right.

With two rounds to go, Haney was winning the fight. He went right back to work in round 11. Diaz attacked downstairs and moved up.

Diaz came out unloading shots in the 12th and final round. He likely sensed he needed a knockout to win. He scored with a big left to the chin that hurt Haney. The champion came back with rights. Diaz fired hooks, but it was Haney who closed the bout with scoring punches.

“I went in there and got the job done,” said Haney. “He’s a true champion.”

“I thought it was a great fight, “Diaz said. “I’m going to go back to the drawing board and get better.”

Source: John J. Raspanti