Is Jorge Linares Next In Line For Devin Haney?
WBC World Lightweight champion Devin Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) would love to fight unified IBF/WBA ‘Super’ /WBO/ World Lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez. It will have to wait as Lopez has a mandatory defense against George Kambosos Jr later this Spring. So now the question begs, what is Haney’s fall back plan?
The reigning WBC 135-pound champ is co-promoted by Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing. During an appearance on iFL TV, Hearn talked about what could be in line for the talented 22-year-old.
“The WBC are about to order a Ryan Garcia fight. But Ryan Garcia has made it pretty clear he wants to fight the whole world apart from Devin Haney.
So, for Haney, he does have a mandatory of Javier Fortuna. Maybe Ryan Garcia might look as well. The Linares fight is a fight I would love to make for Devin Haney. Love to make Teofimo Lopez. He’s got a purse bid coming up with George Kambosos, which obviously we will be bidding on.
Devin’s ready to go, looking at the end of April. Just started getting back into training now, back into camp. He needs a big fight, needs a big fight.”
HANEY V LINARES?
The Linares that Hearn referred to is former three-division world champion Jorge Linares (47-5, 29 KOs). The 35-year-old from Venezuela is still a top fighter at 135 despite his age and years in the game. Even now, he still has the tools to give any of the top lightweights in the world a tough fight.
The champ fueled speculation that Linares could be his next opponent in a February 12 retweet on Twitter. Should that fight happen, it would be Haney’s biggest name opponent and his toughest test to date.
Hearn is correct about Haney needing a big fight. Observers and pundits were not happy with his performance against Yuriorkis Gamboa in November 2020. He was facing a 38-year-old who has seen his best days and was coming off an Achilles injury. The expectation going in was for Haney to look sensational and knock Gamboa out.
That was not the case. Though he won by a clear-cut unanimous decision, fans were left underwhelmed and accused the champ of being boring. Linares would be a great opponent at this stage of his career. If you cannot get your dream fight against Teofimo Lopez, Linares is not a bad second option. It is the type of big-name that would be great to pad his rather lackluster resume.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.