Devin Haney vs. Jorge Linares on May 29th on DAZN

By Boxing News - 03/30/2021 - Comments

By Dan Ambrose: Devin Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) will be defending his WBC 135-lb strap against #3 Jorge Linares in a risky fight on May 29th on DAZN.

The Haney-Linares fight will be staged at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, which seats 12,000. Mike Coppinger and Keith Idec reporting the information.

Linares, 35, has the punching power and the hand speed to give Haney a lot of problems. I dare say that Linares is both faster and more powerful than Haney.

In terms of technical ability, Linares is on par with Haney, if not better. However, Linares hasn’t fought in over a year since his fourth-round stoppage win over Carlos Morales in February 2020, and we don’t know how the inactivity will affect him.

If Linares performs the same way he did against Morales, Haney will be in a world of hurt on May 29th. Linares might even knockout Haney if he can fight on the same level as he did a year ago. He looked technically brilliant, showing both hand speed and superb power as well.

The guys that have given Linares problems during his career have been fighters with power and who were able to get to his chin. I don’t know that Haney has enough pop in his punches for him to take Linares out of there, which means he’s going to be in a real fight on May 29th.

Hopefully, Team Haney knows what they’re doing in making this fight with Linares because this could be a nightmare for them.

Linares has won his last two fights since being stopped in the first round by light-welterweight fringe contender Pablo Cesar Cano in 2019.

Image: Devin Haney vs. Jorge Linares on May 29th on DAZN

It was a crazy idea for Linares, a fighter with a history of suffering knockouts, to decide to go up to 140, where they hit harder than the 135-pounders. You can blame Linares’ loss on his chin rather than give Cano, a marginal fighter at best, a lot of credit.

If Haney is unable to hurt Linares, he could be in for a lot of trouble in this fight. He may even lose. That would be a huge shock to Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who has been labeling him as a super talent.

Haney is a good fighter, but he clearly has very little power, and hand speed is nothing special. He’s basically just a finesse fighter that has good technical skills.

This is a big step up for the 22-year-old Haney, whose recent performances don’t match the hype about him. It’s time for Haney to start showing fans that he’s got the ability to match all the positive press he’s been getting.

Haney had been hoping to face his WBC mandatory Ryan Garcia, but he chose not to take a fight with him after his win over Luke Campbell. The WBC ordered interim champion King Ryan to face #2 Javier Fortuna with the idea the winner will face Haney, but it’s unclear whether that fight will happen.

There’s a possibility that Haney could face undisputed lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez if he gets by his June 5th opponent George Kambosos Jr. Teofimo (16-0, 12 KOs) has expressed interest in fighting Haney. Still, it remains to be seen if the fight can get negotiated.

Teo might ask for more than the fight is worth and then likely continue to make defenses of his four titles.

Haney still hasn’t fought anyone you can call a real test since he was elevated to WBC lightweight champion in 2019. He’s defended his belt twice, beating Alfredo Santiago and Yurioris Gamboa.

Image: Devin Haney vs. Jorge Linares on May 29th on DAZN

Labeled as one of the ‘Four Kings,’ Haney doesn’t look like he’s on the same level as Vasily Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, or Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis.

Interestingly, Lomachenko isn’t considered one of the Four Kings, which tells you a lot about whoever came up with that. There actually should be five kings because Lomachenko has been left out.

Haney does look more solid than Ryan Garcia, but he’s arguably the weakest link among the Five Kings.