Two world title defenses paved the way toward Logan Paul vs. KSI 2 on Saturday night.
Although neither Devin Haney nor Billy Joe Saunders delivered a superstar performance, they each produced pockets of fireworks to possibly win over some new fans on the card headlined by the two YouTubers. Haney scored a unanimous decision (120-107, 120-107, 120-107) over Alfredo Santiago in the co-feature to retain his WBC world lightweight title, while Billy Joe Saunders defended his WBO super middleweight strap with an 11th-round TKO of Marcelo Esteban Coceres earlier in the main card.
Haney claimed to have dislocated his right shoulder during his title defense. But "The Dream" nearly finished Santiago during the fifth round with a scintillating right uppercut that landed flush on the chin and a right hook and left that dropped the game challenger. Although Santiago got up off the canvas and survived the round, Haney was in full control the rest of the way through. The 20-year-old didn't produce another highlight-reel knockout, but he scored a unanimous decision over a very game, gritty and rangy contender, and the performance should go long ways toward continuing to build world championship experience toward a possible shot against unified champ Vasiliy Lomachenko or Gervonta Davis.
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Prior to Haney's win, Saunders started off slow, maintaining control over Coceres, but failing to create enough space between him and the challenger through the first 10 rounds. Then, the 11th round rolled around and Saunders changed everything in a flash. The British boxer found an angle and dropped Coceres with a left hook. Moments later, he detonated a right uppercut that dropped Coceres with a thud. The rocked, but still game Argentinian got up, but Saunders used a quick flurry of punches to put him down for a third time in the round and the ref ended the bout right then and there.
While the performance in his U.S. debut might not have enticed Saul "Canelo" Alvarez to grant him a shot, Saunders called the face of boxing out anyway.
Logan Paul vs. KSI 2 undercard results
11:47 p.m.: The card snuck in another fight, as Nikita Ababiy just had his hand raised via disqualification after his opponent, Jonathan Batista, punched after the bell. Ababiy dropped Batista with a blistering right hook, and it felt like Batista was looking for a way out after that to save face from being knocked out. He punched Ababiy in the back of the head and well after the bell to force the ref to disqualify him. It could have been a warning, but the ref thought a DQ was more apt in this case. Nevertheless, Ababiy remains undefeated.
Devin Haney def. Alfredo Santiago by unanimous decision
11:30 p.m.: This bout is just about over with Haney on full cruise control mode. He should win this handily, although Santiago did well in making a name for himself.
Round 11: "The Dream" rocks Santiago with a right hand to the temple, but the challenger remains right there. Santiago is tough. Nice right from Santiago, but Haney counters with a right. Then adds another right seconds later. Haney doubles up on a left jab, but Santiago tries to come right back before the bell ends it. (10-9 Haney, 109-99 Haney)
Round 10: Haney responds to Santiago attacking his body by going upstairs on the unbeaten Dominican fighter and snapping his head back with a right. Haney ferociously chasing down Santiago and landing hooks, but not as flush as he'd like them to be. (10-9 Haney, 99-90 Haney)
Round 9: Haney lands a couple of shots, but Santiago catches the champ twice with right hands. Although Haney is up on the cards, Santiago is still in this. Santiago takes a low blow from Haney. The ref warns Haney once again. It would have been the challenger's round, but Haney delivered a pair of hooks and a straight hand late in the round to take the frame. (10-9 Haney, 89-81 Haney)
Round 8: Santiago throwing a couple of haymakers, as the urgency to deliver something drastic is setting in. An overhand right from Haney was the best punch thrown and landed that round. (10-9 Haney, 79-72 Haney)
Round 7: Santiago eats a straight right hand from Haney as the round comes to an end. Not enough output from the challenger, although Santiago is one gritty fighter. Haney has been very patient the last couple of rounds. (10-9 Haney, 69-63 Haney)
Round 6: Santiago does a nice job of finding his way back into the fight this round, but Haney ducks under his hook attempt and lands a stinging right hook of his own during the waning moments. Santiago lands a clean right hand moments later, but Haney did enough to take the round and add to his lead on points. (10-9 Haney, 59-54 Haney)
Round 5: Haney is finding his zone, unloading on a right and left hook to the body, before going upstairs with a right hook. And now he uncorks a right uppercut that has Santiago hurt! He adds a right hook and a left and Santiago hits the deck. The challenger rises off the canvas at the eight count and survives the round, but the world champ just sent a message to Santiago. (10-8 Haney, 49-45 Haney)
11:00 p.m.: Haney is very much in control as he continues to hone in on a solution for Santiago. Let's see how the young champ figures out this puzzle.
Round 4: Haney's father, Bill Haney, telling him to rip Santiago this round. Nice right hand from Santiago, as the challenger remains very game early on into this fight. Haney closing up the space and digging into the body when he gets the opportunity. There was a knockdown that was waved off as a push. But that body work should help him to unload upstairs as the fight goes on. (10-9 Haney, 39-37 Haney)
Round 3: Haney peppering Santiago with a flurry of shots early into the frame, before being warned about a rabbit punch moments later. Haney showing a willingness to pump the jab to the body to open shots upstairs. But Santiago answers with a chopping right hand. (10-9 Haney, 29-28 Haney)
Round 2: Santiago is one wiry, rangy fighter with an awkward style that Haney is really trying to figure out here early on. Santiago used the full extension of his reach to land some stinging shots and steal the round by a slim margin. (10-9 Santiago, 19-19)
Round 1: Left hand lands for Santiago, as Haney is trying to assert that lead jab. Haney puts Santiago on notice with a right hook, straight left combo. The world champ doubles up on his left hook seconds later. A left hook drives Santiago back, but the challenger counters with a right of his own. "The Dream" triples up on right hooks just before the opening round ends. (10-9 Haney)
10:40 p.m.: Haney making his way into the ring. The 20-year-old world champion is coming off two scintillating performances — having literally broken Zaur Abdullaev's face for a fourth-round TKO in September and detonating a Knockout of the Year candidate against Antonio Moran in May. This kid has everything it takes to be boxing's next big superstar. Saunders' 11th-round performance might have won over some fans. Let's see if Haney delivers something better.
10:35 p.m.: While we wait for Haney and Santiago to make their way into the ring, here's a look at Bieber in Paul's locker room. And also, this was how KSI walked into the building earlier on.
10:30 p.m.: Jake Paul just said: "Hate us or love us, this is a night to remember forever." Where's the lie? This Logan Paul-KSI 2 fight is as innovative as it gets and it's bringing new eyes to boxing.
10:25 p.m.: Daniel Jacobs telling DAZN's Chris Mannix that social media and events like this — a main event headlined by two YouTubers — is helping boxing's popularity. The "Miracle Man" isn't mad about Logan Paul vs. KSI 2 at all. Jacobs is set to face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Dec. 20 in his debut at super middleweight.
10:20 p.m.: Devin Haney puts his WBC lightweight title on the line against Alfredo Santiago in the co-feature up next. After that, follow DAZN News for the Logan Paul vs. KSI 2 main event live updates and highlights here.
10:13 p.m.: That right uppercut that scored the second knockdown was pure fireworks. And Saunders is keeping it 100 on the mic during his post-fight interview, saying this performance — sans the knockout — wasn't worthy of landing a Canelo or Daniel Jacobs. But he's glad to get the win and defend his title, nonetheless and of course still wants a crack at Canelo.
It was a rather sound, but quiet performance from Saunders through 10, as the British boxer was getting way more than he expected from the rugged Argentinian. Then, he just turned it all the way up in the 11th to get the win. Classy gesture from Saunders during the end of his interview, as he says rest in peace to late boxer Patrick Day.
Billy Joe Saunders def. Marcelo Coceres by 11th-round TKO
Round 11: Saunders finds an angle and drops Coceres with a left hook. Sneaky punch! Saunders firing off with left hooks and this is erupting into a fire fight now! Saunders drops Coceres with a right uppercut now. Explosive shot that rocked Coceres' chin. Coceres takes the count and gets up once again. Saunders firing off on Coceres and drops him for a third time. The ref stops it and just like that Saunders changes everything and mashes the dash toward a ferocious finish. After a sound, but safe performance, Saunders turned up the volume and defends his belt in style with that scintillating 11th round.
Round 10: The boo birds out in full force at Staples Center, letting Saunders know what they think about this fight. Coceres really digging in and landing some crunching shots, including a strong right that did some damage toward the end of the round. (10-9 Coceres, 96-94 Saunders)
Round 9: Look, Saunders is managing to edge Coceres by a slim margin right now, but this isn't the kind of performance that is going to entice Canelo to give him a shot. It's also not the kind of performance that's going to net some new fans for Billy Joe. (10-9 Saunders, 87-84 Saunders)
10:00 p.m.: WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade is trolling this performance from Saunders.
Remember, Andrade was supposed to fight Saunders in Boston last fall, but the bout was cancelled after the British boxer failed a drug test.
Round 8: DAZN's broadcast team announces that 65 percent of this fight has been fought on the outside — a definite sign that Saunders is fighting his fight. However, any time he lands one of those stinging jabs, it's Coceres countering. That spells that the Argentinian doesn't respect the British fighter's power. Saunders did land a punishing left behind his jab this round, though. (10-9 Saunders, 77-75 Saunders)
Round 7: Another solid round for Coceres. Saunders definitely picked his shots with precision better than he did the previous round, but Coceres is landing power punches. (10-9 Coceres, 67-66 Saunders)
Round 6: Coceres really asserting his right hand in this round, and he's doing it by relentlessly firing it at the champ. A few right jabs has opened up the overhand right, which Saunders needs to watch out for. Clearly Coceres' best round thus far. He may force Saunders — a technically advanced fighter — to turn up the aggression if this continues. (10-9 Coceres, 58-56 Saunders)
Round 5: Despite Coceres' admirable countering, Saunders has really never budged off his right foot as the southpaw keeps that left jab locked and loaded. It's clearly his most effective weapon. That being said, Coceres is in this fight. (10-9 Saunders, 49-46 Saunders)
Round 4: Saunders' glove touches the mat, but it wasn't a knockdown. Moments later, Saunders nails Coceres with a low blow. As the ref tries to step in, Saunders throws a punch at Coceres to which the ref warns Saunders about docking him a point. Saunders digs in with a right uppercut that lands during the waning moments of the frame. A strange round, though. (10-9 Saunders, 39-37 Saunders)
Round 3: Coceres with some good head and body work, as Saunders lays on the ropes. Coceres is landing that right hand. Great left jab snaps Coceres' head back. Perfect jab. But Coceres did enough to take the round and his output is coming via his countering. (10-9 Coceres, 29-28 Saunders)
Round 2: Coceres busier in this round, but Saunders wraps a left hook around his guard to land the punch across his jaw. (10-9 Saunders, 20-18 Saunders)
9:30 p.m.: With plenty of new eyes on boxing tonight, let's see if Saunders can give viewers something to get thrilled about.
Round 1: Saunders coming out and asserting the jab, but Coceres is doing a good job of countering. Saunders walking Coceres down and applying the pressure, landing that sneaky left uppercut during the waning moments. Saunders' ring generalship is on full display. (10-9 Saunders)
9:25 p.m.: Speaking of Paul, the YouTuber will be rocking an Apollo Creed-like outfit in the main event.
9:24 p.m.: Here comes Billy Joe Saunders in his U.S. debut, set to defend his WBO super middleweight title. A win could inch him closer to possibly landing a shot against Saul "Canelo" Alvarez. Saunders here and Devin Haney in the co-feature next could win over plenty of new fans tonight. The fans yearning to see how Logan Paul-KSI 2 turns out may actually walk away tonight as fans of Saunders and Haney, so there's plenty on the line all around.
9:00 p.m.: Paul looking calm, cool and relaxed backstage. KSI is looking more focused.
8:48 p.m.: Jake Paul wants a piece of KSI after his brother deals with him tonight.
8:45 p.m.: Brueckner takes it by unanimous decision. Next up — a break from the social media sensations, as Billy Joe Saunders defends his WBO super middleweight title against Marcelo Esteban Coceres.
8:40 p.m.: This was the mood from Logan Paul as he entered Staples Center earlier.
8:30 p.m.: Brueckner looking composed and doing a decent job thus far.
8:26 p.m.: Joshua Brueckner, who knows a thing or two about having a significant social media following, is in the ring against Tyler Smith right now. And Brueckner is unloading on him, as both are making their pro debut — just as Logan Paul and KSI will be doing later tonight.
8:22 p.m.: DAZN cameras just showed Justin Bieber walking into Staples Center.
8:00 p.m.: Pacheco lands a flurry of punches to drop Casper for the second time in the fourth round and third time overall in the fight and the ref has seen enough. Pacheco gets the knockout he was looking for. What a moment for the 18-year-old Los Angeles native.
7:45 p.m.: Diego Pacheco — all 6-foot-4 of him — in action next against Aaron Casper in super middleweight action.
7:30 p.m.: A right hand across the jaw gives Rios the fourth-round KO.
7:10 p.m.: Ronny Rios vs. Hugo Berrio are in the ring right now in junior featherweight action.
7:00 p.m.: This Logan Paul-KSI 2 undercard is live. Grab some refreshments and park it here, as we'll be bringing you all the undercard action.
Logan Paul vs. KSI 2 fight card results
|KSI def. Logan Paul by split decision||Cruiserweight|
|Devin Haney def. Alfredo Santiago by unanimous decision||Lightweight||WBC|
|Billy Joe Saunders def. Marcelo Esteban Coceres via 11th-round TKO||Super Middleweight||WBO|
|Joshua Brueckner def. Tyler Smith by unanimous decision||Cruiserweight|
|Diego Pacheco def. Aaron Casper via fourth-round KO||Super Middleweight|
|Ronny Rios def. Hugo Berrio by fourth-round KO||Jr. Featherweight|
|Nikita Ababiy def. Jonathan Batista by disqualification||Middleweight|