Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz Jr. fight results, highlights: Champion retains his title with unanimous decision

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Matchroom Boxing

Devin Haney needed a big opponent for his next WBC lightweight championship fight and he got exactly that on Saturday night when he faced Joseph Diaz from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Despite Diaz consistently bringing the fight to Haney, his boxing skills were too sharp and he was able to retain his title by unanimous decision.

Haney got off to a fast start in the early rounds, using his speed and an eight-inch reach advantage to tag Diaz with heavy punches and sharp combinations. The body work of Haney was also effective as he repeatedly cracked Diaz to the ribs, even as his punches drifted low several times, resulting in a number of warnings from the referee.

Diaz was able to get himself back into the fight in the fourth round, finally able to close the distance on his rangy opponent. Fighting fire with fire, Diaz began to work his own heavy punches to the champion's body and also unloaded overhand lefts that clipped Haney on the chin.

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However, for every round Diaz seemed to win, he was never able to maintain momentum. Haney continued to battle his way back with his combination punches and activity levels that allowed him to end the fight with a 154-113 advantage in total punches landed.

Haney has repeatedly been knocked for fights lacking in action but felt that Diaz was the right man to help bring out a more exciting version of himself.

"Like JoJo said, he said he was going to bring the dog out of me and that's exactly what he did," Haney said after the fight. "I had to get the dog out."

The dog truly had to come out in the final round, with Diaz appearing to hurt Haney as he went all-out looking for a late comeback knockout. It was the second fight in a row where Haney was hurt in the championship rounds.

However, all three judges saw the fight as a clear win for Haney after the conclusion of 12 rounds, awarding him the decision by scores of 117-111, 117-111, 116-112.

The fight set Haney up for a potential four-belt unification bout with George Kambosos Jr. who won the IBF, WBO and WBA lightweight titles the previous weekend after a shocking upset of Teofimo Lopez Jr. Asked if he would be willing to travel to Kambosos' home country of Australia, Haney didn't hesitate.

"Come on, Kambosos. Let's do it for all the belts," Haney said. "The real undisputed. Let's do it next. I'll go to Jupiter if I've got to."

CBS Sports was with you throughout the entire way on Saturday for both events, so be sure to follow along with the live results and highlights below. 

Results, highlights

  • Devin Haney (c) def. Joseph "JoJo" Diaz Jr. via unanimous decision (117-111, 117-111, 116-112) 
  • Montana Love def. Carlos Diaz via third-round TKO
  • Jessica McCaskill (c) def. Kandi Wyatt via seventh-round TKO
  • Filip Hrgovic def. Emir Ahmatovic via third-round TKO
  • Marc Castro def. Ronaldo Solis via second-round knockout
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Official result: Devin Haney def. Joseph Diaz via unanimous decision (117-111, 117-111, 116-112) to retain the WBC lightweight championship.

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@DAZNBoxing via Twitter
December 5, 2021, 5:12 AM
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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 12: Diaz came out aggressive, moving forward and whipping punches as Haney backed up. Diaz was relentless, seemingly aware he needed the knockout and he landed a heavy left hand. Diaz again landed some big left as Haney appeared a bit bothered by the shots. Haney ate another left and appeared buzzed briefly. Haney started coming forward as Diaz slowed a bit. Haney came on a bit late in the round but Diaz's activity was a nice final statement from him. This should be an easy Haney scorecard though. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Diaz (116-112 Haney)

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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 11: Diaz landed a left but Haney landed a heavy uppercut and a big right hand around the guard. Diaz was trying to bull forward and create more opportunities to land in exchanges but with Haney the sharper boxer he was fighting an uphill battle. Haney landed a nice two-punch combo before Diaz landed a left hand. Diaz never stopped coming forward and Haney kept looking at the clock. Still, another round that seems clear for Haney. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (107-102)

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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 10: Haney got back to popping combos, trying to slow things to his pace and distance. Diaz trapped Haney against the ropes and got off a good flurry. Haney cracked to the body solidly several times in the round. Diaz still had brief flashes where he was able to get off with his own shots but Haney was back to full control before a heavy body shot and a whipping left hook. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (97-93)

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Diaz just missed on a left hand counter and Haney landed a good right hand to the body. Both men landed to the body and Haney cracked Diaz with a big uppercut that appeared to buzz Diaz. They whip heavy shots back and forth and Diaz caught him with a pair of heavy right hands. Best round of the fight. Unofficial scorecard: Diaz 10-9 (87-84 Haney)

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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 9: Haney again landed a low blow and received another warning, this after another harsh warning for low blows between rounds. Haney went back to landing clean two-punch combinations as Diaz struggled to get off with any good offense of his own. Finally trapping Haney against the ropes, Diaz let a flurry of shots go as he really picked up his pace.

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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 8: Diaz was able to walk Diaz backward early in the round and land a few to the body before Haney got back to range and popped off some jabs. Haney worked a hard jab to the body and their heads came close to several hard clashes. Haney landed low and received another warning from the referee. Haney continued doing a nice job of firing and escaping from the corner when Diaz walked him backward. A good jab and slip from Haney really stood out as him having taken back control in the round. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (78-74)

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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 7: Diaz worked to the body before firing a jab. Haney kept cracking with power shots, however, leaving Diaz increasingly unlikely to win a decision. Haney continued to keep the body a bit of a focus but Diaz came on hard midway through the round, landing some really heavy shots. A massive left landed for Diaz and Haney gave him a smile but he clearly felt that one. Diaz again landed a left hand as Haney tried to reestablish distance and use his reach. Diaz again landed a nice little flurry at the end of the round. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Diaz (68-65 Haney)

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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 6: Diaz charged forward and went to the body before landing a jab. Diaz cut off the ring but didn't do anything against the ropes, allowing Haney to land a punch and slide out. Haney landed a body shot and Diaz came upstairs with a left hand. Diaz landed a flurry to the body and as long as he is the one pressuring, he has success but at distance the fight is still Haney's. Haney started to land more power shots and slide out of danger but Diaz did manage to land a few body shots in a bit of a flurry against the ropes. Haney started whipping wild overhand rights that were picked off but he appears to be really wanting to score a knockout. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (59-55)

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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 5: Haney threw a body shot low and then one right to the ribs but got a warning for the illegal shot. Diaz walked Haney into the ropes and landed a good shot to the body and Diaz flurried after. Haney was still getting his shots off and landed a few good uppercuts and started to whip his right hands again. Diaz got him against the ropes and landed a few more good body shots before the two men exchanged hard straight shots. Competitive stuff but a nice bounceback round for Haney. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (49-46)

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Diaz landed a heavy left hand as he continued to dial in a bit. Haney was still popping off some good shots but Diaz tagged him with a hard left hand as both men continued to get rough in the clinch. Diaz landed another hard left hand as Haney tried to flurry. The loudly pro-Diaz crowd got very into the round but Haney landed a few body shots late. Close round comes to a close with Haney hitting a jab and jawing at Diaz. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Diaz (39-37 Haney)

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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 4: Haney's corner believes a knockout is coming, with his corner repeatedly telling him it would be coming soon. Diaz landed a heavy body shot that seemed to bother Haney and then landed a pair of good jabs before a clinch where Diaz threw Haney to the ground and received a warning.

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Haney slid out of the corner when Diaz seemed to have him trapped but did land a nice jab. Haney continued popping off crisp shots as Diaz walked in but Diaz landed a heavy uppercut and a jab and forced Haney to his back foot for one of only a few times so far in the fight. Diaz landed a good body shot and the two got a bit rough in the clinch again. Diaz is starting to get closer but has yet to do enough to win a round. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (30-27)

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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 3: Haney fired some good shots to start the round and the ref attempted to break a clinch when Haney landed an illegal shot during the break, drawing a stern warning. Diaz kept his focus on walking Haney down but continued walking into far more punches than he was landing. 

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Diaz got inside and hammered at Haney in the clinch. Diaz landed a grazing right after forcing Haney toward the ropes and a looping left hand that landed before some return fire from Haney. A better round for Diaz but still a Haney round. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney (20-18)

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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 2: Haney went right back to the straight right hands that had worked so well in the opening round as Diaz kept trying to slowly move to the inside before landing a body shot. Haney responded with a few body punches of his own and more straight right hands down the middle. Haney hammered with a check hook and another right hand as Diaz landed a hard jab.

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Haney again landed more right hands upstairs before going to the body. Diaz was left with his face already turning red after the opening round. Unofficial scorecard: 10-9 Haney

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Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz -- Round 1: As expected, Haney looked to control the center of the ring and use his massive eight-inch reach advantage to keep Diaz on the outside. Haney worked off jabs, hooks and feints while the crowd quickly booed. Haney landed a left hand and whipped a right hand that Diaz picked off before Haney went to the body and fired a right hand upstairs. Haney again drilled a right hand to the body and another upstairs as Diaz looked to figure out a path to get inside.

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