Joseph Diaz Jr. believes he has the perfect game plan ahead of Saturday’s bout against undefeated WBC Lightweight champion Devin Haney
I’d lay in a pile of burning money that I’ve earned
And not even worry about getting burned
I’d climb the Empire State, fight Muhammad Ali
Just to have… – “Tuff Enuff” by The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Well, let’s stop right there.
Former Super Featherweight champion Joseph “JoJo” Diaz Jr.’s key to success in Saturday’s main event on DAZN is to show current WBC Lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney really “ain’t that tough enough.” Diaz did credit his 23-year old opponent as being good.
If you read between the lines of Diaz Jr.’s comments from the final press conference Thursday you might start humming the lyrics of The Fabulous Thunderbirds’ 1986 Billboard Top 10 single “Tuff Enuff.”
Haney is 26-0, he’s fought some well-known opponents in his last two outings, but his résumé remains an opening where he regularly takes hits. Saturday’s defense of his WBC crown presents an opportunity to strengthen his body of work. Diaz’s experience also poses a credible threat to derail a young promising career. Thursday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada Diaz revealed all of his cards for the media in attendance.
“It’s going to be a tough fight because we’re both smart fighters, I’m not just going to be a brawler in there I’m going to go in there and do what I have to do to be victorious. I’m going to go out there and hurt him to the body, hurt him in top, but also show my boxing skills as well. I’m a 2012 Olympian, I’ve fought in there with the best fighters in my divisions in the past, Tevin Farmer, Gary Russell Jr, all these guys. I’m planning on doing the same with Devin Haney.
“My main focus in Devin Haney and beating the shit out of him, taking his will and soul come Saturday night. That’s my main focus right now is just going out there and punishing him.”
Haney’s six years younger, two inches taller and has a seven inch reach advantage. The champion’s achieved his perfect record behind a well-schooled jab, excellent Ring IQ and exceptional versatility as an all-around fighter. Diaz is likely emboldened after Haney found himself on shaky legs at the close of the 10th round in his May victory over veteran Jorge Linares. Haney is aware that Diaz – and the rest of the Lightweight field – is aware of that moment, so we’ll see what he’s learned – as we also learn more about him.
Featured image by Melina Pizano/Matchroom
All other images by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom