ON a night aimed at the kids, WBC lightweight champion Devin ‘The Dream’ Haney, one of boxing’s bright young things, showed he still has plenty to learn in a dominant but dull title defence against Alfredo Santiago of the Dominican Republic.
The gifted American retained his belt via decision (120-107 on all three cards), but it was far from plain sailing. Instead, much like Billy Joe Saunders’ title defence earlier in the night, Haney’s unheralded challenger gave him more than he bargained for, especially early, and displayed an ambition usually absent in opponents handpicked for a champion’s first title defence.
Composed and comfortable, Santiago, 12-1 (4), only struggled to keep up with Haney once he stepped on the gas in the fifth. It was in this round Haney threw an uppercut from the waist, followed by a cuffing hook, and Santiago landed on his backside. It was in this round the fight seemed as good as over.