With pressure and publicity building, Devin Haney delivers
By John J. Raspanti
Devin Haney wanted to be impressive Saturday night at the MGM National Harbor and Casino in Oxon Hill, Maryland.
“They bumped me up to the headline and I didn’t want to disappoint them. I wanted Matchroom to know they made the right choice,” said Haney after scoring a brutal one-punch knockout victory over Antonio Moran.
Moran, the taller fighter by a few inches, said a few days ago that he would walk Haney down. Haney made that impossible by flashing fast hands and feet in the opening stanza. He jabbed to the head and went to the body. A lead right hand landed. Moran came out more aggressively in round two. Haney (22-0, 14 KOs) connected with a sharp left hook and follow-up right. Moran (24-4, 17 KOs) tried jabbing in round three.
Haney moved to his left and right. He clipped Moran with two left hooks and a right. Moran finally landed a punch to Haney’s chest.
After three rounds, Haney was in complete control. The key was his speed. He went right back to work in round four, connecting with a Mayweather like (he’s trained by Mayweather Sr.) lead right. Moran forced the action, but Haney slipped in and out. Moran connected with a left that had no effect while Haney landed a wicked body shot.
Haney’s dominance continued in round five. He went downstairs as Moran tried to land anything anywhere. A straight right and Haney’s foot caused a knockdown. Moran pleaded his case to no avail. Haney loaded up and went for the knockout. His bodywork was wearing Moran down. Haney pressed forward in round six. It was Haney who was doing the walking down. He jarred Moran with a left hook to the gut. Moran looked befuddled and bloody.
Round seven would prove to be unlucky for Moran. Haney feinted and popped out a power jab. He was setting Moran up. A left hook clipped Moran. Another shot to the belly made Moran grimace-a right knocked him into the ropes. With the round almost over, Haney landed a vicious overhand right that crumbled Moran. The referee took one look at the prone fighter and waved off the fight.
The time was 2:32 seconds of round seven.
"I have a lot of punching power and speed. I got everything," said Haney said. "I knew this was a big opportunity, and on paper this was my toughest test.”
Haney wants a shot at a world title.
“I felt like I was ready for a world title fight before this, and now I definitely feel I am ready for one," he added.