Linares to fight in September, wants Ryan Garcia, Haney or Campbell
By Kenneth Friedman: Jorge Linares will be fighting in September, and his initial target is Ryan Garcia, but his secondary options are Devin Haney or Luke Campbell. Make no mistake, the guy the former three-division world champion Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) wants is King Ryan.
WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) would be almost as good an option as Ryan Garcia. Haney has a lot of fans, and Linares would get a lot of attention in facing him.
Some boxing fans rate Haney as the second-best 135-pound fighter in the sport behind only Vasily Lomachenko. Linares vs. Haney would be a competitive fight, and it would let fans know whether Devin is the real deal.
Devin’s lack of power and speed could hinder him
Haney isn’t fast as Linares, and he doesn’t possess the same kind of punching. What Haney does have is superb technical skills, but so does Linares. This could be a bad match-up for Haney because he would be facing a fighter with boxing skills equal or perhaps even better than himself, but with more power, hand speed, and experience.
Linares checks all the boxes for a fight with Haney. Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn might drag his feet at the idea of letting Haney fight Linares at this early stage in his career.
The Haney fought against Alfredo Santiago last November; it might be a little too soon for him to fight Linares. What Haney needs is a step-up opponent from Santiago to show that he’s ready for Linares. Even a rematch with Santiago might be a better option for Haney than for him to be matched against Linares right now.
Golden Boy would be willing to let Ryan fight Linares because he has the hand speed and power to hurt him. Ryan only needs to land one big shot for him to score a knockout, and Linares has shown in the past to have chin issues.
Campbell wants to avenge loss to Linares
Luke Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) and Linares have a history with one another, as they fought in September 2017 in Los Angeles. Linares beat Campbell by an unpopular 12 round split decision.
A lot of boxing fans felt that Campbell did enough to get the nod with the judges, but it wasn’t to be on that night. Campbell and his promoter Eddie Hearn wanted a rematch with Linares, but it failed to happen. But if the fight can take place in September, that would be an excellent option for both fighters.
Linares was the planned opponent for Ryan Garica (20-0, 17 KOs) for July 4 until the pandemic got in the way. Despite that, Linares still wanted to fight the 21-year-old Ryan, but he couldn’t come over from his home in Japan. It’s neither here nor there now, as Garcia has turned down the offer made to him by his promoters at Golden Boy to fight in July.
Ryan’s adviser Lupe Valencia told ESPN that he’d fight in September or earlier. September would be ideal if Ryan wants to fight Linares, but that would be up to Golden Boy Promotions and DAZN.
The money will need to be right for Garcia to fight Linares. For a risky fight like that, Ryan will likely want $500,000 and not the 4200,000 that is said to have been offered to him for the July 4 assignment.
Ryan Garcia vs. Linares needs a live audience
It could be tricky for Golden Boy to get Linares to face Ryan Garcia if crowds aren’t allowed back in by then. September is only three months away, and the pandemic is a problem that’s not going away.
“The manager of Jorge Linares, Jose De La Cruz, says his client will return in Sept. The focus is still on Ryan Garcia. But, he mentioned that if that doesn’t come to fruition, the likes of Luke Campbell or Devin Haney. They want a real fight off the bat #boxing,” said @StevESPNKim.
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