Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz Jr.: Match predictions, cards, odds, expert picks, previews, start times

For most of the title defense of the undefeated Devin Haney in May, a showdown with former two-weight champion Jorge Linares, the WBC lightweight champion, and nothing seems to be short in the future. hybrid of the 135 pound weight class.

Then came adversity. Haney was rocked in Round 10 and spent the rest of the competition in total damage control as he held gratuitously and kept out of touch on the road to a unanimous decision win.

When Haney (26-0.15 KOs), the 23-year-old tennis player from Las Vegas, returns on Saturday at the nearby MGM Grand Garden Arena, the stakes couldn’t be higher with recent events in the division. (8 p.m. ET, DAZNfollow now). If Haney defends her WBC belt against interim title winner and former two-division champion Joseph Diaz Jr. (32-1-1, 15 KOs), a blow to undisputed lightweight glory could be next ahead of newly crowned united king George Kambosos Jr.

Kambosos, just started a thrilling matchup against Teofimo Lopez Jr. last weekend to win the WBA, WBO and IBF titles, has named Haney as the leading contender for his next bout and hopes to host the event in front of 80,000 fans at a stadium. in his native Australia.

Of course, before closing any deals, Haney needed to get the business out of the way. And luckily for fans, Diaz, 29, an aggressive man from California, will try and find out firsthand if Haney’s meeting with Linares was just an aberration or a prediction of something. going to happen.

“I’m going to go out there and do what I have to do to win, no matter what happens,” Diaz said. “If he wants to try and crack the box, I’ll hunt him down. If he wants to come and bang, I’ll smash it too. He can bring whatever he wants, I’ll bring it.”

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Haney will have the advantage of two inches in height and seven inches in height when the two gloves touch but he also expects to be the faster, smarter, and stronger fighter of the two. That’s why Haney is on the 7-1 betting favorites list despite Diaz’s strong resume.

“I just can’t wait to show JoJo Diaz that he can be a dog, but at the end of the day, skills pay the bills,” Haney said. “If it’s his only approach that he’s going to fuck me, come on, I’ve seen that in my entire career. If it’s his Plan A and I let him. If we raise my dog, it’ll be a long night.”

Diaz spent much of the promotion trying to get into Haney’s head by questioning his opponent’s confidence. He’s also worked hard to let those listening know that he’s a far more accomplished boxer than his reputation for aggression might indicate.

The aftermath of Diaz’s only professional loss, a decisive loss to Gary Russell Jr in their 2018 featherweight title fight, kicked off an eight-fight unbeaten streak. Diaz won 4-0 after sending up to 130 pounds, including a victory over Tevin Farmer in 2020 to claim the IBF lightweight lightweight belt.

But moving a higher division down to lightweight made Diaz feel the best he’s ever felt from a physical standpoint, which only boosted his confidence as an all-around boxer.

“I just feel like at 135 pounds, I’m a person worth considering. I’m very, very dangerous with this weight,” says Diaz. “Devin Haney is a hell fighter, don’t get me wrong, he has great tools and great boxing skills, but so am I. I’m a 2012 Olympic athlete, I’m a champion number two, I’ve fought many, many experienced guys in the pro ranks.”

Despite the adversity he survived against Linares, Haney had trouble drawing any of his fellow lightweight stars in the ring against him, including Ryan. undefeated Garcia, whom he faced six different times as an amateur tennis player.

Haney has shown Diaz respect for going into the fight against him but believes it’s a fight that will be nothing but competition.

“I really felt like his style was going to be tailored for me, there was nothing that could be done for him to win,” Haney said. “He can’t ignore me, I’ll show him he can’t beat me. I have the size advantage, all the tools to win.”

The card also marks the return of undisputed women’s welterweight champion Jessica McCaskill. The 37-year-old Missouri player was looking to continue an impressive streak when she came on as a late substitute Kandi Wyatt. McCaskill was expected to take the position for Victoria Bustos, but Bustos had problems getting a visa to the US and was forced to withdraw. McCaskill achieved undisputed status when she stunned champion Cecila Braekus in 2020 by majority decision then beat her by unanimous decision in the 2021 rematch.

Plus, the ultralight Montana Love looks set to end a great 2021 when he takes on Carlos Diaz. Love is 2-0 with several stops so far this year, including an impressive win over former champion Ivan Baranchyk in August. Another win on Saturday could bring him closer to a potential title chance, especially against someone like Diaz. The Mexican comes in with a 29-1 record and 14 knockdowns on his resume. He has won three games in a row since his only professional defeat at the hands of Jose Zepeda.

Here’s the complete battle card for Saturday night along with predictions for the main event.

Battle cards, odds

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

  • Devin Haney (c) -700 vs. Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr. +500, WBC lightweight title
  • Montana Love -1500 vs Carlos Diaz +850, super light
  • Jessica McCaskill (c) -2000 vs Kandi Wyatt +1000, undisputed women’s title
  • Filip Hrgovic -8000 vs. Emir Ahmatovic +2200, strong contender


For all the chatter about Haney’s chin, he’s probably been too long and skilled enough for Diaz to notice.

Diaz has proven across multiple units that he’s a dual-threat fighter who can combine it and box it up when needed. But Haney’s superhuman skills seem to be on another level.

Hopefully Diaz will try changing the attack from the outside soon. But eventually, he’ll need to move on and that’s when Haney will be in greatest danger to get him to come in.

To be as comfortable as Diaz feels from a physical standpoint at 135 pounds, he’s not a huge puncher and he’ll need a hit to pull the discomfort.

Pick: Haney via UD12 Devin Haney vs. Joseph Diaz Jr.: Match predictions, cards, odds, expert picks, previews, start times

Curtis Crabtree

Curtis Crabtree is a 24ssports U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Curtis Crabtree joined 24ssports in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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