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Another Impressive Win for Devin Haney; Ruben Villa Wins Too

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  • Another Impressive Win for Devin Haney; Ruben Villa Wins Too

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    By David A. Avila

    Start rolling out the bandwagon. It might be that time for lightweight contender Devin “The Dream” Haney.

    Haney (21-0, 13 KOs) may only be 20 years old but powered through Xolisani Ndongeni (25-1, 13 KOs) and handed the South African his first loss on Friday at Shreveport, Louisiana to retain his various titles. Showtime televised.

    It was thorough domination for 10 consecutive rounds.

    Unlike his prior fights that showcased Haney’s athleticism and skill, in this fight the Las Vegas prizefighter unleashed the raw warrior side and it was a wake-up call for potential foes.

    Haney was in stalking mode from the opening bell despite the rough and awkward Ndongeni’s style. Whether it was countering wide punches or connecting with bludgeoning body shots Haney was in complete control.

    A short right cross floored Ndongeni in the second round and showed that Haney wasn’t looking to play it safe. He was in a search-and-destroy gear for the entire 10 rounds.

    Ndongeni was hurt in various points of the fight, especially from a barrage of body shots in the fifth round. But the South African survived through pure determination.

    “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” said Haney who is ranked in the top 20. “You don’t get to be 25-0 and be easy.”

    But despite the toughness of Ndongeni it was all Haney who looked like a modern day version of Sugar Ray Robinson with that blend of skill and killer instinct not often seen from undefeated fighters today. He was especially impressive with a savage body attack in the second half of the fight.

    After 10 rounds two judges scored it 100-89 twice and 99-90 for Haney.

    What’s next for Haney?

    “I don’t turn down anybody. I’m willing to fight anybody,” said Haney. “I’m a bleeping contender. I want those top guys.”

    Villa wins too

    Ruben Villa (15-0, 5 KOs) dominated Colombia’s Ruben Cervera (10-1, 9 KOs) in a battle of undefeated featherweights to win by unanimous decision after eight rounds.

    The southpaw from Salinas, California won every round with his speed, footwork and precision punches against the hard-nosed, heavy handed Cervera. But the Colombian fighter just couldn’t find the Californian enough.

    For Villa it was his first chance to show American television viewers a glimpse of his capabilities. Until Friday night, most of his fights have been held in Southern California on Thompson Boxing Promotion fights. But he’s following in the footsteps of other very successful fighters from that small but influential promotional group.

    Will Villa be their next successful star?

    In a heavyweight clash Cuba’s Frank Sanchez (11-0, 9 KOs) won by knockout over Willie Jake (8-2-1) at 2:59 of the second round. After one round of action problems with the ring ropes stopped the fight for more than 15 minutes. Then when the fight resumed in the second round a short volley ended with Jake slumping in the corner from what looked like ineffective blows. He did not get up for more than a few minutes.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel

  • #2
    Nice to see Haney developing so well.

    In the 2016 TSS Mid-Year awards, I named him as the Prospect of the year's first half. He hasn't disappointed. Good on him.

    PROSPECT: Lightweight Devin “The Dream” Haney — Just 17 years-old and already 7-0 as a pro with 4 knockouts, Haney hails from San Francisco but now resides in Las Vegas. Too young to compete in the Rio Olympics, this decorated amateur standout is already 5-0 in 2016. Haney didn’t wait for 2020 in Tokyo but under the new AIBA rules allowing for pros in the Olympics, he could conceivably go back to achieve his dream of winning gold. Haney came up as a rookie pro in Tijuana, Mexico like Adonis Creed, but now he’s making noise in places like Sin City, USA. Trained by Floyd Mayweather Sr., Haney was called by one media insider, “As good looking a prospect as I have seen since Floyd Mayweather Jr.”

    That’s high praise.

    Boxing has recently seen how quickly some prospects become contenders or even champions. Errol Spence Jr. comes to mind. So does 2016 Fighter of the Half Year Anthony Joshua. Just last year Joshua was still competing in 8 rounders. Today, he’s defending a world title in front of thousands on Showtime. Haney is a ways off from making that kind of statement but you will be hearing from him soon.