By Marc Livitz: Devin “The Dream” Haney put on a fine display over ten one-sided rounds as he coasted past Xolisani Ndongeni by way of unanimous decision in a lightweight contest at the StageWorks Center in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Ndongeni (25-1, 13 KO’s) fired away with his left jab once the opening bell sounded, while Haney displayed patience and lightly countered when his unbeaten South African opponent came near. Devin made up for lost time late with a few clean shots before he caught Xolisani flush on the chin with a hard right just before the period came to a close. Midway through the second, a right hook from Haney (21-0, 13 KO’s) sent “The Wasp” to the canvas, though Ndongeni quickly rose to his feet. Devin remained focused through the round and didn’t go for Xolisani’s ‘herky-jerky’ style, as more straight punches landed on the head. The third was much of the same as the talent gap continued to widen.
Ndongeni’s habit of keeping his lead left hand dangerously low allowed Haney to carefully place more sharp jabs to the head. Xolisani had a better beginning in the fifth as he wisely tied up his Las Vegas foe, yet the good fortune was short-lived. Haney began to throw hard shots to the body, which caused Ndongeni to sway into the ropes. Throughout the next several minutes, Haney remained the puncher and Xolisani the boxer, who himself showed signs of skill without enough power to make a difference. His jab would land, yet he’d eventually eat a right hand whenever he tried to add to his strategy.
Just before the end of round eight, Haney went back to the body, which caused Ndongeni to drop his elbows down. The signs were becoming clearer as “The Dream” was slowly wearing out “The Wasp”. The two men spent much of the ninth toe-to-toe, each working the jab and power shots. They met at the center of the ring for the customary tap of gloves as the tenth and final round was now underway. As before, Haney blasted away at the ribs of his Jonestown opponent as his intentions of winning by knockout were becoming less likely with the ticking time. Ndongeni may have flown from across the globe, but he finished the bout on his feet.
The judges turned in the following scores: Laurence Cole and Mickey Lofton each saw a shutout at 100-89, while Pat Dayton saw it at 99-90. “I knew it wouldn’t be easy. He fought a great fight, but I got the win,” the victorious Haney said afterward. “I’m willing to fight anyone. He gave me a good challenge and this was a great experience. I’m a (expletive) contender.”