Devin Haney vs. Jorge Linares agreed for May 15th on Dazn
By Matt Lieberman: Devin Haney and Jorge Linares have agreed to a fight on May 15th in a headliner on DAZN. Eddie Hearn revealed the news last Friday, and Dan Rafael is reporting it as well.
Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) will be defending his WBC lightweight crown against the 35-year-old former three-division world champion Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) in what could be a final world title shot for the Venezuela-born fighter.
If Haney wins the fight against Linares, it’s possible that he could take on Vasily Lomachenko. That’s a match-up that Matchroom Boxing promoter Hearn is interested in making.
With all the trash-talking that Haney did this week on social media in going back and forth with Loma, it’s disappointing that he won’t be facing him next.
It gives fans the appearance that Haney was using Lomachenko’sname to get attention from fans without needing to risk losing to him.
The location for the Haney-Linares fight still needed to be determined by Matchroom and Golden Boy Promotions.
Devin fighting another older guy
Hearn said this about the Haney vs. Linares match last Friday: [“It’s] pretty much agreed and ready to go.”
For Haney, 22, he’ll be making his third defense of his World Boxing Council 135lb title that the WBC gave him outside of the ring in 2019.
The WBC elevated Haney to their ‘regular’ lightweight champion while they upgraded Lomachenko to Franchise champ in 2019.
Loma recently lost his Franchise tag when he was beaten by Teofimo Lopez on October 17th last year.
Both Lomachenko and Haney were hoping to fight Teo next, but he’s chosen to defend against his #1 IBF mandatory George Kambosos Jr rather than take a risky fight against either of those two.
The fan reaction to Haney’s defense against Linares next is mixed, as many of them find it difficult to get excited about this match because it’s similar to Devin’s last fight.
Haney is coming off of a 12 round decision against 38-year-old Yurorkis Gamboa. Like Linares, Gamboa is an old guy, past his prime, and not the same fighter he was 3000 yesterdays ago.
It’s unclear whether Matchroom is intentionally pitting Haney against well-known older fighters to give him experience and build his name without the risk or if this is the best opposition they can find for him? It might be a little of both.
Farmer says Teofimo, Haney, Ryan & Davis all equal
“I feel like nobody holds the top position; I feel like all of them are kind of equal,” said Tevin Farmer to Fighthub when asked who is the top lightweight. “I feel like nobody at 135 has done enough yet to call themselves ‘Top Dog.’
“Even though Teofimo [Lopez] beat Loma, there are still questions there. So we need to see him beat another top dog or one of the other guys beat a top dog because you can’t really say who’s top because they’re all very good fighters.
“They can all fight. Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis, Teofimo, Devin Haney, all of those dudes are up there. They can rumble, but I feel like none of them did enough at that weight to dictate who’s the top.
“If you want to go off of who they fought, you have to give it to Teofimo if you want to go off of who they fought.
“You have to. But that doesn’t mean he’s the best, and it doesn’t mean he’ll beat all the other guys. It just says he’s the top dog because he [Teofimo] beat the top dog, and that was Lomachenko. You can’t take that away from him,” Farmer said.
It isn’t easy to agree with Farmer’s assertion that the top five lightweights are all equal.
Right off hand, you can remove Ryan Garcia from taking the top spot at 135 because his last performance against Luke Campbell showed how vulnerable he is.
Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs), although he’s the unified champion at 135 after his win over Lomachenko, the way he was falling apart when Loma took the fight to him in the second half, you can’t call him the best at lightweight.
Lopez’s reluctance in giving Lomachenko a rematch gives a glimpse of what his thinking process is about how a second fight would play out.
With his decision not to give Lomahenko a rematch, Teofimo essentially admits that he doesn’t feel confident that he could beat him in a rematch.
Moreover, Teofimo’s choice of opponent in selecting George Kambosos Jr as his next fight shows that he’s not confident in himself to face Loma or any of the other top lightweight. Kambosos Jr is an average fighter and nowhere near the top guys.
Farmer is partially right about the top lightweights being equal, but it’s these three that are all equal right now:
- Devin Haney
- Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis
- Vasily Lomachenko
Ryan Garcia and Teofimo Lopez are flawed and lack the ability to beat those three. Lomachenko will likely knockout Teofimo if they fought again.
Haney the most talented at 135, says Tevin
“It’s hard,” said Farmer when asked to rank the top 135-pounders. “I don’t know, any one of them, they still have more to do at that weight, so it’s hard to rank them at that weight.
“The most talented is probably Devin Haney,” said Farmer when asked who is the most talented of the top lightweights. “I think he’s a more well-rounded fighter than a lot of them.
“All of them are still great, as I say. They’re all great fighters,” said Tevin about the top 5 elite lightweights. “But if you ask me who I think is more talented, I say Devin Haney. He’s got the most skills, but does that mean he can beat them?
“He may or he may not, but he has the most skills up there because I know a lot of talented fighters that lost to non-talented fighters. But Devin Haney, I feel he’s the most skilled at 135, and in time, it’ll prove who’s the best at 135,” said Farmer.
Haney is perhaps the most talented at 135, but as Farmer says, it doesn’t mean he can beat everyone. Devin’s lack of punching power could hold him back when he gets in there with Tank Davis, Lomachenko, Teofimo, and maybe even Ryan Garcia.
It doesn’t look like Ryan has the self-confidence needed to face Haney, so those two will likely never fight.
Teofimo won’t be at 135 for much longer
“They’re going to have to see each other one way or another.,” continued Farmer about the top lightweights. “I don’t know if Teofimo is going to be there for long, though.
“It’s a good fight for him,” said Farmer about Teofimo potentially facing the winner of the Josh Taylor vs. Jose Ramirez bout.
“I mean, I would move up, and I would take a tune-up fight if I were him at 140, to see how he reacts, and then I would go straight for the big dogs.
“Taylor would be more difficult because he’s really slick; he’s naturally bigger. We don’t know if Teofimo’s power can carry over to the big dogs, which I think it can. So there are a lot of questions, said Farmer.
It’s now unlikely that Teofimo Lopez will fight the winner of the May 22nd fight between light welterweight champions Josh Taylor and Jose Ramirez.
With Teofimo saying that he wants to leave Top Rank, why would they want to do him a favor by matching him against the winner?
Likewise, why would Teofimo want to help Top Rank if he’s planning on leaving the company before his remaining 3 1/2 years on his contract expires?
Teofimo will probably try and stick it out at 135 for as long as he can keep melting down 20 pounds to make the 135-lb limit. Teofimo walks around at a solid 150+ lbs without fat, and it’s unknown how much longer he can keep doing that.
He’s 23 right now and young enough to get away with losing tons of water weight to make the 135lb limit, but this isn’t something he’ll be able to do forever.
- Announced: Vasyl Lomachenko faces Masayoshi Nakatani on June 26th in Las Vegas on Espn+
- Confirmed: Ramirez vs Taylor, Stevenson vs Nakathila, Inoue vs Dasmarinas & Lomachenko vs Nakatani
- Vasyl Lomachenko battles Masayoshi Nakatani on June 26th on ESPN
- Haney vs. Linares undercard: Cameron defends against Hernandez