Devin Haney looked for the most prominent names who currently fight in the lightweight division. He finally locked one in to step across the ring from him as the 23-year-old puts his WBC title on the line against JoJo Diaz on Saturday from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas — which you can see exclusively on DAZN (check your region for availability).
As always with a big-time boxing card, there are certainly plenty of bets to be made. Let's take a look at some of them.
Devin Haney vs. JoJo Diaz Jr. odds
Devin Haney: -600
Jo Jo Diaz: +400
(All odds via BetMGM, sign up now to get a free DAZN subscription)
BetMGM (as of Wednesday, Dec. 1) has Haney installed as a sizable favorite — coming in at -600, meaning you'd need to bet $600 just to win $100 if "The Dream" can retain the gold. Meanwhile, Diaz is a +400, meaning if you pluck down $100, you will win $400 if he can upset Haney and become a two-division champion.
Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) is coming off passing the biggest test of his career back in May against former three-division titlist Jorge Linares. The victory didn't come without adversity. Haney was wobbled by a Linares right hand at the end of the 10th round. Nevertheless, Haney made it through the round and the last two rounds to retain the WBC belt. He was finding tough sledding to get Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, and Teofimo Lopez inside the ring. Enter Diaz.
Diaz (32-1-1, 15 KOs) made his 135-pound debut in July. The result was a resounding success, beating a tough Javier Fortuna via unanimous decision. He'd been signed to face Ryan Garcia at the end of November, but Garcia suffered a broken wrist in training and was forced to pull out.
Diaz needed a dance partner. Haney needed a dance partner.
And here we are.
Devin Haney vs. JoJo Diaz prediction
Pleasantly surprised the odds are this high in favor of Haney, considering how he struggled in the championship rounds of the Linares contest and how impressive Diaz was against Fortuna.
Looking at their resumes, Diaz has the advantage. He's taken on Gary Russell Jr., Tevin Farmer, and Fortuna. Where Haney holds the edge is in overall boxing skill. He's got excellent footwork, a stinging jab, and a powerful overhand right.
The best path for Diaz to win the WBC belt is pressuring Haney and throwing punches in volume. It's something Linares did in spots, and Haney didn't like it.
There's a couple of appetizing bets heading into the WBC title clash.
There's great value in picking Diaz to win at +400 and win via points at +700 since his last three wins have come by decision. However, if you are going to lay down some money on Haney, there's good value in him winning inside the distance at +250. He needs to make a statement if he wants an undisputed title fight with unified champion George Kambosos Jr.
I like Haney to win but not feeling confident in the pick.
I'm making a couple of wagers in placing $100 on Diaz winning via points and another $100 for the fight-ending via stoppage for the reigning champion.
Muehlhausen's pick: Devin Haney
Best odds: Devin Haney via stoppage at +250 and Diaz winning by points at +700
More Haney vs. Diaz odds
Method of victory
Haney by KO/TKO/Technical decision or DQ: +250
Haney on points: -165
Diaz by KO/TKO/Technical decision or DQ: +1000
Diaz on points: +700