Quotes and images from the main event and undercard as Devin Haney defends his WBC World Lightweight title against Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz, Jr. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday night, live worldwide on DAZN.
“Thank you to all the media that have made the trip here to Las Vegas this week for a huge, huge night for the Lightweight division. Devin Haney vs. Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz, Jr. for the WBC World Lightweight title live on DAZN all around the world this Saturday from the historic MGM Grand.
“We’re really lucky people, we’re really lucky to be here, the MGM Grand is a venue steeped in boxing history. Last week of course we were in the iconic Madison Square Garden for a fight that I think everybody was there or everybody that watched on DAZN will never forgot. George Kambosos dethroning Teofimo Lopez for a whole host of belts in the Lightweight division. The moment where Australian boxing just lit up to see a new star in Kambosos. What a night it was for boxing worldwide.
“We’ve got a great card here, some undefeated fighters that we’ll be talking to, undisputed champions as well on the card, heavyweight action. This is part of an incredible schedule on DAZN to finish this year. What a schedule, we’re very lucky people to be living the dream every week on DAZN – particularly this week in Vegas.”
“I want to start off by thanking God for this opportunity, this is a huge opportunity for me and my family. This is finally my time on the big stage to show what ‘m capable of, a lot of fighting come in there and say what they’re going to do. He keeps saying he’s going to dog me, beat the shit out of me, we’ll see.
“Everybody has got a plan until they get into the ring, when it doesn’t work then we’ll see what it really is. He can say what he wants to say, I can say what I want to say, on December 4 I will go in there and I will show.
“I don’t think there’s any pressure, at the end of the say I’m going to go in there and do what I’ve got to do. We had a great training camp, we studied JoJo, I feel like me and my team know JoJo know him better than his own coach. We know what he’s going to do, what he’s going to throw, we studied him so well we know the mistakes he’s going to make and the habits he has. We’re going to go in there and do what we do best.
“This is what I feel with JoJo Diaz, he says he’s going to go in there and come right at me, we saw how that worked with George Kambosos with Teofimo Lopez, he had no respect and got caught. He can go in there and get caught with a big shot early, or I’ll beat the will out of him. You’ll see.
“Of course, I’m the best Lightweight, you guys will see December 4. I’ll be one step closer to having all the belts in the lightweight division, it all starts on December 4, and I can’t wait.”
Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz, Jr.
“I’m excited for it, I’ve done everything and paid all my dues, not even inside this training camp but inside my whole career. Fighting the best opponents possible to make me ready for this moment, I’m ready for it and paid my dues inside of the ring. We had a tremendous training camp, brought in some good sparring partners as well, I’m ready to go out there and execute my game plan December 4.
“I already know this is the moment I’ve prayed for my whole entire life. For God to be blessing me with this opportunity, I’m ready. I haven’t been cutting any corners, I’m just built the way I’m built and I’m going to go out there and execute what I’ve got to do.
“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.”
“I believe JoJo will win 100 per cent, I know him from the young man that stepped into the office to who he is. Bring out your pens and get them ready, don’t call it an upset because he’s been elite from day one, from the amateurs. You don’t become an Olympian from just being average.
“Saturday night in front of JoJo there’s a very talented young man, a very good world champion – but it’s good versus elite. Come Saturday night you will all see, the beauty of boxing is nothing is ever written, last week you saw it, this weekend you’ll see it. JoJo will take that title back to California.”
“This has been quite a journey for Devin and our family to get to this point, thank you Eddie of course and to DAZN and Golden Boy for stepping up to the plate and brining on a very qualified JoJo.
“He has a legendary reputation both inside the ring and outside the ring, in the gym. His work ethic is unprecedented in his community, he runs people out the gym, he’s going to come to fight. That’s what’s going to bring out the best in Devin Haney and we look forward to that opportunity.
“He [Robert] said the same thing about Jorge Linares, that Jorge was going to come and that he has everything to stop Devin, he didn’t. This is no different than JoJo, we look forward to Devin impressively putting on an ass-whipping on JoJo and then you give us the title of the Golden Boy killer.
“We don’t look past JoJo by any stretch of the imagination, you saw what happened last week with the 13-1 underdog George Kambosos, shoutout to him and his family – doing a tremendous job he’s quite a Cinderella story.
“We can’t look past JoJo, but we can’t help see George Kambosos in our city parading around as if he’s an undisputed champion. We’re hearing conflicting messages from the Kambosos camp as if we need to do something else better, but when you have Devin Haney you have the youngest promoter in the game, youngest world champion and a guy that has not only communicated with JoJo to make this fight happen, but he also communicated with Jorge Linares and took the initiative before the world even believed it and worked and talked with Kambosos.
“We hope after this fight George Kambosos and his team are a man of their word and stick behind it, let’s make this shit happen.”
Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz, Snr.
“He’s not going to try and become; he is going to become the world champion. Joseph has been ready for this moment for a long time, I know Devin Haney, what he brings to the table and the goods that he was, but I know my son. My son is going to do what he needs to do on Saturday night and get the job done.
“They have him as an underdog because of the bets and stuff but that doesn’t mean anything. JoJo is going to go out there and do what he does, they’re going to see something they’ve never seen before.
“I tell him to ignore it, it’s just a bunch of hype and stuff, this is MGM boxing and not a circus – that’s for another casino down the street. They do what they do, he’s getting paid pretty good money to do what he does, if he wants to embarrass himself that’s fine. We’re going to do what we need to do on Saturday night.”
“I need to stay focused, I cannot underestimate anyone, thanks to Emir for accepting the challenge. I’m looking forward to Saturday night.
“I don’t know what’s going on, you’re the biggest promotor in the world and I hope you’ll find someone to fight me soon. I’m looking forward to big fights, I said to my promotors and you [Eddie] a long time ago I feel like I’m ready for everyone.
“I’m training really hard; I’m focused on boxing 100 per cent and I’m looking for a big fight. I’m focused on Saturday night, I don’t want to underestimate anyone, I know I have the quality and talent to become the best fighter in the world.”
“It’s been a frustrating time for Filip, the whole IBF situation, we went through the top 15 twice and no one wanted to fight Filip. Now, next year, someone’s got to fight him for the mandatory and I believe you’re looking at the next world champion, next year 2022 – it’s going to be Hrgovic’s year.
“Respect to Ahmatovic, it’s always hard to get Filip opponents but we’re just happy to be in Vegas. Thanks to Eddie, thanks to his team for helping us, roll on Saturday you’re going to see the future Heavyweight champ.”
“I’m happy to be here, last week I got a call for the fight against Hrgovic and I said of course, I want to fight him – why not? That’s why I’m here, I’m 100 per cent here to win and I will give it my all to win the fight on Saturday.”
“I’m very happy to be here, be part of DAZN and the team. Saturday night I’m here to put on a show man. Just be me, too pretty look good while doing it, and having fun.
“My last three opponents have been saying the same thing, saying they’re my biggest test but I made it look easy. I’m just here to have fun, I don’t think any of these guys are on my level. I know Carlos is going to come to fight, in my mind I want to get him out of there sooner but I’m going to stick to the game plan and execute.
“Following your [Eddie] lead, whoever you put in front of me we’re going to put them down and keep stepping on them.”
“I’m always ready to go, it’s not always me, Rick will be like we’re going to be really chill and as soon as I go in there and get the gloves on, he’s got the mitts on, it’s crazy. We have a high work rate, I work out 2/3 times every single day so when I’m sitting in my hotel room ready to do a workout and you put a ring in front of me, that’s what’s going to happen.
“I’m definitely looking forward to what we have planned for 2022. We’re not looking past Kandi at all, especially when somebody takes a fight last invite and she already had a fight she was preparing for. I’m not sleeping on here at all, like she said it’s going to be fireworks, she comes forward she throws punches with almost every step she takes. I like to brawl but I’m trying to put together some more boxer and show everyone some more skill, make my mark in history and in the boxing world.
“I only had about 25 amateur fights and when I linked up with Rick Ramos, he said we’re going to move you really fast and that’s exactly what we’ve done.
“Vegas, it’s always a dream for a fighter, like having the green belt is always a dream for a fighter. I came to Vegas in 2014 and walked around the whole hotel and told everybody I’m going to fight here one day. To be here and to have spoken that into my future it means everything.”
“It’s a dream come true, I fell in love with boxing when I was ten years old, and this has always been a dream to be a world champion and box in Vegas nonetheless.
“I couldn’t be more excited to see female boxing taking off, it’s growing in the amateur ranks as well which is nothing but good news. The way female boxing is taking off in the pro ranks, I’m super excited about it and I couldn’t be happier.
“Jessica is a gamer; she’s going to come out to fight. I’m here to fight too, I’m not here for the experience, I’m here to win so expect fireworks on Saturday.
“It’s hard to put into words, like I said it’s something I’ve been dreaming about when I was ten years old so I’m rendered speechless already.”
“First off I want to give thanks to everybody, Eddie Hearn, Matchroom, Churchill Boxing, we could have taken this time and only focused on my personal life, but my management company stepped in and made sure I elevated in my professional game as well.
“I’m blessed and thankful to coach Kevin Cunningham for taking me under his wing. A lot of coaches would know I was going through a hard time, and he could have easily said no I don’t want to deal with him, but he took me in, and we had the greatest camp I’ve ever had in my life. Shoutout to my sparring partners, they gave me the best work I’ve ever had and it’s a blessing to be here.
“A boxer’s life has a lot of pressure in it, we fight for our life, we do this to entertain everybody. It’s a lot of pressure and as you can see, people can turn on you from one day to the next, a fighter deals with a lot.
“It’s a good time and platform for me to speak out about mental health and let people know it’s a real thing, I also speak for my brothers who share the ring with me. Just be a person that really let’s people know what’s going on.
“Ammo is always exciting, always bringing fireworks and sometimes I can get ahead of myself. Now that we’re stepping into the higher levels like you mentioned, 2022 is going to be a bigger year for all of us, now we’re stepping into higher levels with more dangerous fighters I’ve got to be dangerous but safer – that’s where coach comes in. The knockouts are going to cleaner and more spectacular.”
“It’s crazy, it’s surreal honestly being here sitting in a venue where my whole life I looked up at being in a stage like this at the MGM. I’m more than ready, I’m excited.
“I’m excited, I feel like the better the opponent the better I’ll do, the more I get pushed the more I’ll do. I’m very excited to perform this Saturday because I know I’m going to look good.”
“It’s been a great start, but it wasn’t too great because I got COVID a couple of times. I had some setbacks, but I’m blessed to be in this position. It’s all a part of God’s plan and now we’re here, first fight in the MGM and I’m grateful and blessed to be here.
“I’m a fighter so I stay in the gym, daily sacrifices everyday so that’s how I get the victories over these great fighters. They’re great too but I’m just better.
“It feels great to have the support this early in my career, it’s a testament to my family and the sacrifices I’ve made. I feel like the fanbase is growing every single day and it’s going to be a journey.”
“I have a step-up fight and I’m more than ready; I’ve been training with a world champion; I train like a world champion, and I feel great.”