It was a pairing of two undefeated lightweights, but only Devin Haney walked out of the ring at StageWorks of Louisiana in Shreveport as the victor.
Haney (21-0, 13 KOs) did virtually whatever he wanted against foe Xolisani Ndongeni in the main of the first ShoBox: The New Generation card of the new year on Friday night. Haney used a terrific left jab, sharp counter rights to the head and timely body punching to offset most of what the South African tried. “The Dream” seized control of the bout early and never relinquished it, out-landing Ndongeni in every round.
Haney dropped Ndongeni with a sizzling right to the head in the second and then hurt him with a hook to the body in the fourth, but “Nomeva the Wasp” was as tough as they come. Ndongeni (25-1, 13 KOs) stood his ground for the full 10 rounds and fought back repeatedly, but his lack of raw power prevented him from bailing himself out. In the end, Haney, a Las Vegas-based San Francisco native, won a lopsided unanimous decision via tallies of 100-89 (twice) and 99-90.
The co-feature saw unbeaten featherweight contender Ruben Villa (15-0, 5 KOs) run Ruben Cervera (10-1; 9 KOs) through a boxing clinic for eight rounds as he won an easy unanimous verdict. Villa never had his Colombian adversary in danger, but he dominated him from start to finish with far superior hand speed and a smoother overall boxing game. Villa won the judges favor with scores of 80-72 across the board.
In the opening bout of the telecast, which kicked off its 18th year on Showtime, Cuban heavyweight Frank Sanchez knocked out Willie Jake, Jr. (8-2-1, 2 KOs) in the second. A barrage of lefts and rights to the head -- most of which were blocked -- sent “Snake” to the canvas, where he laid face-first and covering his head until he was counted out at the 2:59 mark. The win allowed Sanchez to improve his undefeated record to 11-0 while notching his ninth knockout.