The MGM National Harbor was lit on Saturday, May 25, 2019, as Matchroom Boxing USA presented the DAZN debut of Devin Haney, 22-0 (14 KOs), in a lightweight fight against Antonio Moran, 24-4 (17 KOs). The fight in itself did not disappoint.
Haney struck first with a solid two-punch combination early in the first, capped by a head-snapping right straight. Haney worked behind the jab to continue to set up the right hand which landed on Moran’s chin with authority throughout the fight. Moran fired back with some resistance in the second as he was able to occasionally land his right, but he was, for the most part, overwhelmed by the technical savvy of Haney.
By the fourth round, Haney was in total control of the fight and primarily fought off of his back-foot, repeatedly countering Moran with clean right hooks as he lunged in. Moran’s face at this point was visibly showing wear and tear. In the fifth round, Haney landed a hard right hook to the body just as the two fighters’ feet became tangled, thus sending Moran to the canvas. The referee ruled it a knockdown though replays showed otherwise.
Moran was able to answer the count but took a lot of punishment for the remainder of the round, to include a number of unanswered shots to the head. Moran started to look as though even he knew the fight was slipping away as Haney pounced in. Haney mixed in excellent bodywork in the sixth round as he continued to break down the game but over-matched Moran. Moran continued to come forward but wasn’t able to land anything of authority, this coupled with an inability to move his head on defense.
Haney continued to tattoo Moran with hard right hooks in the seventh before catching Moran with a chilling overhand right that sent him to the canvas and out of the fight without the need to administer a count. Referee Kenny Chevalier immediately stopped the fight giving Haney the technical knockout victory at 2:32 of round seven. Haney showed class in checking on his downed opponent who remained in this state for several minutes after the knockout.
Haney was looking for that statement knockout win and gained such in his DAZN debut, on this night. A week after the one-punch knockout by Deontay Wilder over Dominic Breazeale, Haney is now in the running for knockout of the year. Many of the top names at 135 pounds were mentioned by promoter Eddie Hearn during the post-fight interview, including potential for a clash with Teofimo Lopez. This seemingly sets the precedent for amazing match-ups moving forward should all parties come to the table.
If there were any question as to whether Haney had the power to get fighters out as his competition grew (i’m guilty), this was answered on this night. Haney remained disciplined throughout the fight and capitalized as the right time for the knockout. This ‘step-up’ allowed him to step out in a major way. In the words of Big K.R.I.T., “Shine on.”