All You Need To Know About Devin Haney vs Jorge Linares on DAZN, May 29th
Devin Haney vs. Jorge Linares
How To Watch: Saturday, May 22nd, Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Devin Haney checks all the boxes to be a star in the sport of boxing.
Haney is young, 22-years-old, surrounded by celebs from Floyd Mayweather to rappers such as Lil Dirk and Kevin Gates walking him to the ring for his fights, and was one of the first fighters [along with a fighter who is no longer with us, Omar Henry,] who took to the internet to find fans across the world not just in the Bay Area, and Las Vegas, Nevada, in which Haney split residences at an early age.
Haney is undefeated in 25 fights and 60% of his bouts ending by way of knockout, with a 120 rounds of ring time.
Haney, who has been raised and coached by his father, Bill Haney seems destined for great things at an early age. Being featured in a major spot on a Karim Mayfield undercard in San Francisco, California, defeating Jose Salinas. Turning pro at an early age, and having his fights mostly televised on the internet, and also, seemingly inventing the now modern trend of filming sparring.
Haney has changed the way we view boxing, and even after all that, people are looking for Haney to take on meaningful (in their eyes) fights. The ones in which they go to work for five straight days thinking about the fight, order some nice food, sit at home, and watch it, with anticipation.
Haney has been tested, but to say he has one of those type of fights would be unfair to him or those who have been tested to that degree. Linares in my eyes fits this criteria, but when talking about Linares, and painting his picture, I can see where some might discount the world champion, though I feel unfairly.
Haney has fought the guys he should’ve fought. Former world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa, title challenger Juan Carlos Burgos, undefeated fighters like Zaur Abdullaev, Alfredo Santiago, and Xolisani Ndongeni. As well as stopping Mason Menard who was stopped in one round by Teofimo Lopez, a generational puncher. All of these fights, were good fights, in fact, none were easy bouts, but Haney was favored in each and everyone.
Haney’s last bout against Gamboa – was a learning experience. Haney talked about doing better than rival Gervonta “Tank” Davis, who was hit by Gamboa quite a bit in the fight before getting the 12th round stoppage, this would prove to be a humbling affair as Haney went 12-rounds with the former world champion, as Gamboa looked to survive for good portions of the bout. The result was two-fold as it is hard to stop someone who doesn’t want to get stopped, but the fans’ expectations were set so high by Haney in the build-up, the performance was not what many had hoped for.
Haney will now make the third defense of his WBC lightweight world title, a belt that he won, when Vasyl Lomachenko was elevated to “WBC franchise champion”, as Haney beat Zaur Abdullaev for the interim WBC lightweight world title, and with the changing of the ranks, Haney was elevated to full-on champion. Haney was trying to get a Lomachenko fight, but Teofimo Lopez beat him to it, and in the process beat Lomachenko as well.
This is also the first time Devin Haney can fight in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, as in his 25 fights prior, Haney has yet to fight in the fight capital of the world, and something dating back to 2019, Haney had said he wanted to do. So this will be historic in it will be the first of many, we assume Haney fights in Las Vegas.
Haney now faces the most formidable opponent of his career, Jorge Linares, who is signed to Golden Boy Promotions, a 4-time, 3-division world champion, who looks to ruin Haney’s million-dollar future in the sport of boxing with his quick hands and knockout power.
Linares has a record of 47 wins, and five losses, 320 rounds spent in the ring over a 19-year career, with a 55% knockout ratio.
Linares career has been as inconsistent as we have even seen in recent years.
Linares has been stopped 3-times in the first two rounds of a fight, and all five of his losses have come by way of knockout. Linares has also had a slew of trainers from Sendai Tanaka, Freddie Roach, Ismael Salas, and now Carlos Linares and Rudy Hernandez, working as duo to get him ready.
The best version of Linares has been the later stages version, but you never seem to know what you will get with Linares. For those who don’t remember, Linares burst onto the scene as a hot prospect on HBO Boxing, even though Linares had a first-round knockout loss to Juan Carlos Salgado to lose his WBA super featherweight world title. Linares would then have a shaky fight against Francisco Lorenzo, earning a majority decision in his native, Venezuela, before being repackaged training with Freddie Roach, and sparring one of the best fighters in the world at the time, Manny Pacquiao, would defeat crowd-favorite Rocky Juarez.
Linares would see his chances to be a third-weight world champion fall by the wayside, as early success meant little, when Antonio DeMarco stopped Linares late to win the WBC lightweight world title. In a seemingly bounce back-fight in Mexico, Linares lost to Sergio Thompson, which all, but fodder for the school of thought that thought Linares was chinny and not durable enough to be viewed as an elite fighter, as Thompson stopped him in two rounds.
Linares used this as motivation, as Linares rebuilt himself by beating Kevin Mitchell and Anthony Crolla, in Crolla’s case twice, overseas, as the underdog. Linares would accomplish his goal of becoming a three-division world champion defeating 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist Luke Campbell for the WBA and WBC lightweight world title, and his shaky start to his career was now being righted by a great run.
Linares would fight a generational talent in Vasyl Lomachenko, and despite losing and getting stopped by Lomachenko, Linares would drop Lomachenko something no one had done prior, as even in a loss many thought this was the best version of Linares ever.
Linares would move up to 140 lbs, as Linares looked to be a 4-division world champion, but a first-round loss to Pablo Cesar Cano, made Linares reconsider the lightweight division, as Linares picked up two wins since that loss at lightweight.
So what do we make of this fight?
Obviously, Haney is the favorite, the a-side, and with good reason. Haney is the bigger man, more than likely when it is all said and done more talented (Haney has to write this book in the ring though) than Linares, and my keyword here, more consistent.
Linares’ biggest sin is that we often don’t see the same Linares fight-after-fight. The best version of Linares will give Haney a 12-round decision type fight, that would come down to mental fortitude and fighter adjustments, the worst version of Linares gets caught early. Linares is not unlike J.R. Smith, Jamal Crawford, or Rudy Gay, basketball players who the video game version of the player rivaled the best in the game, but in real life, they just never could perform to their god-gifted abilities.
If Haney is a capital G “Guy” like I believe he is, Jorge Linares is the type of fighter he needs to beat, and if Haney wants to dance with Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta “Tank” Davis, or Ryan Garcia, Haney needs to make a statement in which the fans will refuse to see other fights.
In my eyes, this is Haney’s first major fight of his career, albeit one he should win, but still a tricky one.
The Bay Area native, now training between the Bay Area and Las Vegas, will return to action this Saturday, May 29th, with limited tickets available.
For fans of Bay Area boxing, Devin Haney’s stablemate, Amari Jones, an exciting welterweight, who is trained by Bill Haney as well, will be in action on the undercard and is a new breed of fighters, who people should take notice of, as he was the #1 amateur in the country for multiple years.