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Javier Fortuna calls Devin Haney a ‘Coward’ and ’email champion’

Devin Haney Jorge Linares

By Jim Maltzman: Number one ranked WBC lightweight contender Javier Fortuna has little good to say about 135lb champion Devin Haney, saying that he’ an “email champion” and a “coward” for choosing not to fight him.

Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KOs) earned the mandatory spot with the World Boxing Council, and he was hoping to challenge Haney. Instead of getting the fight, Fortuna is being ignored by Haney (24-0, 15 KOs), who has decided to face 38-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa next.

Haney’s decision to face the former IBF/WBA featherweight champion Gamboa (30-3, 18 KOs) has proven to be an unpopular one with boxing fans, who note that the Cuban fighter is coming off of a 12th round knockout loss to Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis last December. On top of that, Gamboa suffered a torn Achilles tendon during the fight.

In the meantime, Fortuna, 32, will stay busy facing former three-division world champion Jorge Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) this month on August 28 on DAZN at the Fantasy Springs Casino Resort in Indio, California.

Fortuna trashes “email champion” Haney

The winner of Linares vs. Fortuna fight isn’t guaranteed a title shot against Haney right away, though, because he could face the winner of the Ryan Garcia vs. Luke Campbell fight. Fortuna or Linares may end up waiting a while before they get their shot at Haney.

“When the pandemic started, Haney reclaimed his title via email. And that’s what he is – an email champion besides being a coward. Now he wants to fight Yuriorkis Gamboa instead,” said Fortuna to Ring TV.

The shoulder injury that Haney suffered in his last fight against Alfredo Santiago and the subsequent pandemic has delayed the Fortuna. If not for those two things, Haney would have surely defended against Fortuna by now. Unfortunately for Fortuna, he’s going to have to beat Linares, which won’t be easy.

Devin Haney Jorge Linares

As we saw in Linares’ last contest against Carlos Morales last February, he’s still close to where he was during his prime years. At 34, Linares is still fighting at a high level, and his hand speed and technical skills haven’t deteriorated.

If Fortuna loses this match with Linares, he’ll need to get back in line to put himself in position for a crack at Haney.

Is Javier making a mistake fighting Linares?

Fortuna doesn’t possess the popularity to be given a title shot just based on his name. He’s got to earn it the hard way by becoming a mandatory challenger to the 21-year-old Haney to be given the opportunity.

“I have been trying to secure a signature win for a long time in my career, to honor the Dominican Republic and La Romana,. A victory against Linares would be just that,” said Fortuna.

Linares has going to have a lot to say about whether the former WBA super featherweight champion Fortuna gets his mandatory title shot against Haney.

The Venezuelan native will be coming at full strength with a lot of motivation to beat Fortuna when they mix it up this month on August 28. Just going by the way that Linares looked in his last outing against Carlos Morales on February 14, you have to consider him the favorite going in.

A lot of boxing fans are wondering whether this was a good decision on Fortuna’s part to take such a risky fight against Linares because he’ s already earned his mandatory status. Why choose a risk when you have to? If Fortuna were an unbeatable fighter, then it would make sense, but he’s not that type of guy.

Fortuna has past defeats to Robert Easter Jr and Jason Sosa. He was also involved in a bizarre fight against Adrian Granados in 2018 in which he fell out of the ring in round four and suffered an injury.

The good news though, is Fortuna has won his last two fights, beating Jesus Marcelo Andres Cuellar and Sharif Bogere.

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