Devin Haney will face Alfredo Santiago in the first defense of his WBC World Lightweight title at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on Saturday November 9, live on DAZN in the US, Sky Sports in the UK and distributed globally on FITE.
Haney (23-0 15 KOs) was elevated to full champion at the recent WBC Convention in Cancun, Mexico, following his dominant performance against Zaur Abdullaev in New York in September where he overpowered the unbeaten Russian over four blistering rounds to force Abdullaev to retire, and land ‘The Dream’ the interim belt at 135lbs.
Now Haney makes the short trip from his Las Vegas home to Los Angeles where he faces Santiago (12-0 4 KOs) in his maiden defence. The unbeaten Dominican talent, who turns 25 the day after the fight, will be on looking to derail Haney’s reign as champion at the first hurdle.
“I’m happy we got this deal done,” said Haney. “I’m not just a WBC World Champion that’s holding somebody else’s belt. I’m the sole champion, and I will defend the Lightweight World title on November 9. I’ve been working hard and I’m extremely focused. This will be the perfect gift to myself for my 21st birthday.
“All the fans at STAPLES Center and the millions watching on DAZN, are going to witness another dominant performance. I’m going to continue to show the world that I’m the best in my division.
“Alfredo Santiago is my next opponent; he’s undefeated, he’s hungry, and he’s coming to win. I take every fight very serious and this fight is no different. Tune in next Saturday and you’ll see that the hype is real.”
“First and foremost, I would like to thank Matchroom Boxing and Fresh Productions for this opportunity,” said Santiago. “This is the moment that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid, and the one I’ve been waiting for since I became a boxer. I am physically and mentally ready, and I am going to show who the best 135lber in the world is.
“Mr. Haney is a formidable fighter who chose the wrong opponent. He cannot beat me. I belong to ‘The Terror Squadron’, the best boxing team in the world. This is my time.”
“I am delighted to see Devin defend his World title on November 9,” said promoter Eddie Hearn. “We’re going to have a huge crowd of new fight fans at the arena and tuning in all around the world to watch KSI and Logan Paul, and Devin is the perfect fighter to showcase what boxing is all about to a potential crop of new fight fans – he’s young, exciting, confident and relatable – the perfect mix.
“Alfredo Santiago is a hungry young fighter himself and this is a golden opportunity for him to halt Devin’s charge to superstardom – but I believe that ‘The Dream’ will shine and begin his reign as World champion in style.”
Haney’s clash with Santiago is part of a huge night of action in Los Angeles as YouTube sensations KSI and Logan Paul clash in a rematch of their controversial draw – this time as professional fighters.
Billy Joe Saunders (28-0 13 KOs) makes his American debut and defends his WBO World Super-Middleweight title against unbeaten Argentine Marcelo Coceres (28-0-1 15 KOs), and he is joined on the card by a quartet of Eddie Hearn’s talented rising US stars in Nikita Ababiy (7-0 6 KOs), Diego Pacheco (6-0 5 KOs), Reshat Mati (4-0 2 KOs) and Alexis Espino (4-0 3 KOs).
Photo: Matchroom Boxing