SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 26, 2019 – Lightweight Devin Haney of Las Vegas (22-0, 14 KOs) enjoyed a thoroughly successful debut under the Matchroom Boxing banner on DAZN in one of his best performanced to date with a seventh round knockout win over Antonio Moran of Mexico (24-4, 17 KOs).
“Coming into this fight, I wanted to make a statement. There were rumors I didn’t have punching power. As you see, I can,” said Haney.
The 20-year-old Haney put on an impressive display of hand speed, neutralizing Moran’s height and reach advantage with a snapping jab that couldn’t miss. He put it to good use in the early rounds, frustrating Moran as he tried to figure out how to get around it. But he couldn’t find any way in.
As the rounds progressed, Haney started landing power shots to the body, something he’s said he wanted to work on. Moran could not get out of the way of the line of fire. In the fourth round, Moran started bleeding from the nose in the fourth round. It made him more cautious; perhaps he was injured or concerned about a broken nose. Haney saw it, and knew he could take advantage. He scored a knockdown with a legitimate body punch, but he also stepped on Moran’s foot, and the Mexican protested the call.
Haney’s corner started pressing him for a knockout as the second half of the bout begin. Haney landed two solid left hook body shot counterpunches, setting up the perfect scenario. Moran dropped his hands, and Haney caught Moran with a left hook to the head, followed by a right hook to the body, and a right to the head launched from a bazooka. Moran was out cold at 2:32 of the seventh round with no referee count needed.
“When I hit him, I saw that he was hurt,” said Haney. “One thing my dad always told me, when a guy is hurt, go to the body. I went to the body, and then over the top.
“I’m overall a great fighter. I have speed, I have power, I have ring IQ, and I have movement. I ‘m able to make adjustments … I’m just going to beat whoever they put in front of me.”
His delighted promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing said, “Unbelievable! Where I come from in England, when we have a star like this, the country would be going mad. You need to get behind this guy. He’s 20 years old! This is a true, true talent. It was like watching an artist draw a beautifu pitctire, then sign his name, walk off and say good night.” Hearn promised it wouldn’t be long before Haney would be matched up with the likes of Teofimo Lopez, Luke Campbell, and Ryan Garcia.
Jessica McCaskill survives brawl with Arahi Sanchez to unify titles
Jessica McCaskill of Chicago (7-2, 3 KOs) and Arahi Sanchez of Argentina (19-4, 11 KOs) put on the all-action fight everyone hoped for as both gave everything they had for 10 entertaining rounds. McCaskill emerged as the winner and is now the unified WBC and WBA super lightweight champion. Scores were 98-92, 98-91, and 96-94.
Sanchez started off with several strong rounds, but McCaskill wouldn’t yield and wouldn’t back down. She started gaining ground and gaining confidence as the fight progressed. Both slowed down into the later rounds, but McCaskill landed the better shots. In the ninth round, McCaskill pinned Sanchez on the ropes and connected with a right hand. Sanchez was bloody and bent over. It appears McCaskill scored a knockdown, but the referee ruled a slip. Both women needed to call on every bit of their reserves in the tenth round as they traded in the center of the ring until the final bell. Although there is always a winner and a loser, both fighters earned tremendous respect for their courage and determination,
McCaskill complimented her opponent for the nonstop effort. “Arahi has great accuracy and solid power. She sure wasn’t afraid to fight and mix it up.” She felt the cards were too wide. “The scorecards were a little drastic and I don’t like when that happens to me when I go somewhere else so respect to Anahi.”
A disappointed Sanchez was dismayed with the judges. “I don’t think the judges gave me any love on the scorecards. I was getting hit low, I was getting headbutted but I didn’t get any love from the judges or the referees.”
Easy work for heavyweights Hunter and Hrgovic
In back to back heavyweight fights, the victors made quick work of their opponents.
Michael “The Bounty” Hunter of Las Vegas (17-1, 12 KOs) blasted Fabio Maldonado of Brazil (26-3, 25 KOs) into the canvas, knocking him down three times on the way to a second round stoppage at 1:45 of the round. The 39-year-old former MMA fighter had never been stopped.
Hunter landed 27 of 54 total punches; Maldonado threw only two punches and landed neither of them. “I just try to use my quickness, my speed and my ability. I knew I had agility and footwork over him, and I wanted to make it impressive. I just run them down. We’re all over 200 pounds, eventually they’re going to break because I have more heart.
2016 Olympic bronze medalist Filip Hrgovic of Croatia (8-0, 6 KOs) made a spectacular U.S debut, needing just one minute to take out Gregory Corbin of Dallas (15-2, 9 KOs), courtesy of a right to Corbin’s temple. Although Corbin got to his feet, he was on wobbly legs and in no shape to continue. “You didn’t get a chance to see the best of Filip Hrgovic,” said the winner after the brief show. It didn’t matter to the delighted Croatian fans in the stands.
Perhaps Hunter and Hrgovic should have fought each other. Both want a shot at one of the titleholders, but it’s not likely right away. Hunter’s only loss was against Oleksandr Usyk at cruiserweight. How about a rematch at heavyweight? Hrgovic, the RING Magazine 2019 Prospect of the Year, is among a new generation of young heavyweights and any of them would make a fun matchup: Joe Joyce, Efe Ajagba, Daniel Dubois. Bring it on.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on social media: @PRProSanDiego.
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