Devin Haney cruises to easy decision win over Yuriorkis Gamboa, eyes unification bout with Teofimo Lopez

devin-haney.jpg
Matchroom Boxing

This year in is filled with rising stars in the lightweight division trying to make their mark. Twenty-one-year-old Devin Haney was the latest 135-pound star to do so, retaining his WBC world championship with a wide decision win over Yuriorkis Gamboa on Saturday inside Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

Haney quickly established the rhythm of the fight, locking down distance and working off the jab. Gamboa, the shorter fighter, was forced almost immediately out of his element, stuck at a range where he couldn't effectively get his shots to the chin of Haney while getting slowly picked apart.

Haney kept the rhythm through the majority of the fight. With Gamboa unable to get off effective offense, Haney was able to slickly move and pick him off, piling up round after round on the scorecards.

Down the stretch, Haney tried to amp up his offense, trying to score the knockout and make a statement. While Gamboa's chin held up -- surprising given he has suffered 15 knockdowns in his professional career -- the increase in power punching from Haney forced the challenger to clinch frequently, leading to a point deduction for holding in Round 11.

The point deduction wasn't needed for Haney, however, as Gamboa's chances on the scorecards had long since faded.

After 12 rounds, the fight was handed over to the ringside judges, who turned in scorecards of 118-109, 120-107 and 120-107, all for Haney, who improved to 25-0 in his pro career.

"I thought I put in a world-class performance," Haney said after his victory. "Of course I wanted the knockout, but he was a crafty veteran and did a lot of holding. ... I knew that he was going to come in and be scrappy and do anything to survive and that's what he did."

The victory keeps alive a potential lightweight unification bout with Teofimo Lopez, who now holds the IBF, WBO and WBA world titles after his stunning defeat of Vasiliy Lomachenko in October. Haney has made noise about Lopez needing him to lay claim to being an undisputed champion, but has been met with criticism from many for taking a fight with Gamboa, who is not viewed as a top fighter at 135 pounds and and is largely considered nearly a decade past his prime while fighting two weight classes above his best.

Fellow young star Ryan Garcia has his own big fight coming up, meeting former Luke Campbell in what is considered a big step up for the 22-year-old. Also, WBA "regular" lightweight champion Gervonta Davis -- who knocked out Gamboa this past December -- is coming off a devastating Knockout of the Year candidate against Leo Santa Cruz in a Halloween night pay-per-view headliner.

Even with the criticism of the matchmaking and other young lightweights making bigger moves, Haney did accomplish his primary job and scored a win to remain world champion and stay in position for bigger and better fights. And he made it clear that a fight with Lopez was the top item on his wish list.

"Teofimo Lopez is the one with the rest of the belts, so that's the one that I want to make happen," Haney said.  

Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.

CBS Sports was with you throughout the entire way on Saturday. Read on for round-by-round breakdowns and highlights of the night's action. 

Haney vs. Gamboa card, results

  • Devin Haney (c) def. Yuriorkis Gamboa via unanimous decision (118-109, 120-107, 120-107)
  • Filip Hrgovic def. Rydell Booke via fifth-round TKO
  • Zhang Zhilei def. Devin Vargas via fourth-round TKO
  • Reshat Mati def. Marcos Mojica via second-round TKO
  • Raymond Ford def. Rafael Reyes via third-round TKO
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@DAZNBoxing via Twitter
November 8, 2020, 4:52 AM
@MatchroomBoxing via Twitter
November 8, 2020, 4:38 AM

Official result: Devin Haney def. Yuriorkis Gamboa via unanimous decision (118-109, 120-107, 120-107)

Haney is throwing huge shots now, trying to make the statement with the KO but time runs out on him and we go to the cards for an obvious decision. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (120-107 Haney)

@DAZNBoxing via Twitter
November 8, 2020, 4:15 AM

Gamboa lands a left hand but eats two harder punches in return. Gamboa throws a right and Haney lands two thudding shots clean.

Another Haney right hand connects clean as does a left hook.

Round 12: Haney cracks with a left hook and throws another that lands. He seems to want the knockout here in the last round and a big right hand does buckle Gamboa's legs briefly.

10-8 round for Haney after the point deduction. Unofficial scorecard: 10-8 Haney (110-98 Haney)

Haney with a short right hand and then the same punch lands again. Haney rips to the body and it's getting a little ugly in the clinch.

Haney rips Gamboa's body in the clinch and Gamboa is clinging on as Haney is trying to work and the ref takes a point from Gamboa. 

Gamboa throws well to the body and they tie up. Haney misses with an uppercut and just misses a right hand that may have been a fight-ender.

Round 11: Haney rips off a four-punch combination and it gets in clean, but Gamboa comes back with a left hook, he's still in there  even if there seems to be no path to victory for him here.

Haney lands a right hand and that's another round in the books and this is a clean sweep so far with Haney. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (100-90 Haney)

The Haney jab is doing work again and he lands a good right hand behind. Gamboa is eating the shots still and is trying to get something in but Haney is too slick for him.

Gamboa charges in and Haney lands a left hook. 39-16 total jabs in the fight in favor of Haney.

Round 10: Haney pops off a few jabs again and Gamboa is fighting way too much of this fight at a range where he can not throw effecitve punches.

Gamboa works inside a bit and manages to get off some shots but not enough to turn the round. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (90-81 Haney)

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