LAS VEGAS – Devin Haney and Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz are set for a lightweight title fight with increased stakes.
Both boxers made weight for their WBC title fight, which takes place Saturday evening at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout airs live on DAZN, seven days after George Kambosos Jr. (20-0, 10KOs) emerged as the head of the class following his upset win over previously unbeaten lineal WBA “Super”/IBF/WBO/WBC “Franchise” champion Teofimo Lopez Jr. (16-1, 12KOs).
Las Vegas’ Haney (26-0, 15KOs) weighed 135 pounds as he attempts the fourth defense of the WBC lightweight title he has held since late 2019.
Diaz (32-1-1, 15KOs) weighed 134.4 pounds for his second fight at lightweight. The 29-year-old southpaw from South El Monte, California represented the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympics, going on to capture the IBF junior lightweight title last January before losing the belt at the scale after missing weight ahead of his 12-round draw with Shavkat Rakhimov this past February in Indio, California.
Haney last defended his belt in a 12-round win over former three-division titlist Jorge Linares (47-6, 29KOs) this past May 29 at nearby Michelob ULTRA Arena. Diaz made his lightweight debut in a 12-round win over Javier Fortuna this past July 9 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.
The show’s lone other title shot pits reigning undisputed welterweight queen Jessica McCaskill (10-2, 3KOs) versus Canada’s Kandi Wyatt (10-3, 3KOs) in a bout scheduled 10 rounds fought at two minutes each.
Chicago’s McCaskill weighed 146.4 pounds as she makes the second defense of the lineal/WBC/WBA/IBF/WBO championship that she claimed in an upset win over long-reigning champ and pound-for-pound queen Cecilia Braekhus last August in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wyatt weighed 146.2 pounds in her second title attempt, having dropped a ten-round decision to Kali Reis in their WBA junior welterweight title fight last November. Reis has since added the WBO title in a win over Jessica Camara on November 19 and will work Wyatt’s corner this weekend.
McCaskill has won five in a row since her competitive lightweight title fight loss to Katie Taylor in December 2017, all coming versus former or current champions including a stint as the unified junior welterweight champion before moving up to welterweight. In her most recent start, McCaskill earned a repeat win over Braekhus this past March. She was due to face her seventh straight former or current champion this weekend, only for former 140-pound titlist Victoria Bustos to be removed from the show due to travel issues.
Below are the weights for the rest of the undercard.
Montana Love (16-0-1, 8KOs), Cleveland, 143.8 pounds vs. Carlos Diaz (29-1, 14KOs; 2NDs), Guadalarara, 139.8 pounds—10 rds, junior welterweight (144-pound catchweight)
Filip Hrgovic (13-0, 11KOs), Zagreb, Croatia 248 pounds vs. Emir Ahmatovic (10-0, 7KOs), 228.4 pounds—10 rds, heavyweight
Marc Castro (4-0, 4KOs), Fresno, 136.4 pounds vs. Ronaldo Solis (4-2-1, 3KOs), Cancun, 130.8 pounds—6 rds, lightweight
Austin Williams (8-0, 6KOs), Houston via Milwaukee, 160 pounds vs. Quatavious Cash (14-2, 8KOs), Atlanta, 160 pounds—8 rds, middleweight
Alexis Espino (9-0, 6KOs), Las Vegas, 167.4 pounds vs. Rodolfo Gomez Jr (14-5-1, 10KOs), Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, 168 pounds—6 rds, super middleweight
Amari Jones (4-0, 4KOs), Las Vegas, 160 pounds vs. Timothy Lee (5-1, 4KOs), Las Vegas, 159.4 pounds—6 rds, middleweight
Ricardo Rafael Sandoval (19-1, 14KOs), Rialto, California, 111.8 pounds vs. Carlos Buitrago (32-6-1, 18KOs), Managua, Nicaragua, 113 pounds—flyweight (swing bout)
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox