Thanks to the murky and muddy waters in the WBC, we’re finally a little closer to just one name on top. Despite the recognized franchise champion being Teofimo Lopez. The unified champion has his hands full right after Thanksgiving with George Kambosos Jr. But Eddie Hearn has now locked up another key fight at 135. However, can Haney survive Diaz. And that fight goes down the following weekend as reported by Mike Coppinger of ESPN.

This is a fight that both have wanted officially right after Ryan Garcia went down to injury. But make no mistakes about it; Joseph Diaz is a tough and dangerous out for Devin Haney.

Although only on a one-fight win streak, the 28-year old southpaw has picked it up since his 2015 loss to Gary Russell Jr. And yes, there’s only one finish since then, to go along with his five-decision wins; but the quality of his outings is what’s improved.

He’s now physically stronger, and is having success fighting on the inside. The lack of knockouts recently is more of a credit to his opponents heart. The speed in his left hand has improved as well. And his footwork has always been above average. Now Haney’s another story all together.

Can Haney Survive Diaz

The WBC’s World Lightweight Champion is looked at as part of the six-young guns in the sport. However, he’s also not talked of as highly. It’s actually quite the contradiction of a career for him. And because even Haney knows how dangerous Diaz can be, he’s pushing for a rematch clause, as well he should.

If Haney can’t get past “JoJo”; the likelihood that he could get past Vasiliyev Lomachenko, Tank Davis, Ryan Garcia, let alone Teofimo Lopez diminishes greatly. And in fairness, between the two fighters, Haney has the better resume.

Haney’s ring IQ and pure boxing ability is near the top of the charts. But he doesn’t have the dynamite threat in his hands that worries other fighters. Sure, he has 15 knockouts, but those were all after breaking down an opponent. If Diaz can get inside and make it a muddy fight, Haney will effectively get smothered.

Haney’s been like the little kid in the store jumping up and down in front of his mother screaming, “I want, I want, I want, give me, give me, give me” when it comes to the cream of the division. He took Jorge Linares’ best shots (especially a right hand in the 10th round), and he hits harder than Diaz. It’s that Diaz throws in bunches that can grab the belt away from Haney.

There’s no doubt that Haney will lay on the canvas at least once in the fight. And it’s going to take that type of a shocking wake up for him to step back, counter, and move. If Haney can stay fighting on his toes he’ll be one-step closer to actually getting those huge fights. Either way, before 2021 is over, we will all see if Devin Haney is truly part of the upper echelon click.

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Cyclone

Cyclone, considers himself the Chris "MadDog" Russo of combat sports. He got the nickname in 1984 after riding the roller coaster multiple times, and then made it his professional name. He's been officially covering combat sports since January 2017 when Chael Sonnen fought Tito Ortiz. Cyclone's been lucky enough to do some regional mma play-by-play. Loving to entertain since childhood, he continues to round out his schedule as a comedian, actor, producer, and show host. Away from the "bright lights", he enjoys cooking, fishing, and gambling. A lover of animals Cyclone hopes to one day return to working at an animal shelter.

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