Jorge Linares ready for anything Devin Haney brings
By Dan Ambrose: Jorge Linares says he thinks WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney may choose to run around the ring on Saturday rather than engage with him.
Linares has got to be ready for whatever tricks Haney, and his team can develop in this fight because it could be a strange one.
Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) has trained for everything Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) could do inside the ring when they meet in the main event on DAZN at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Haney, 22, is a lot younger than the 35-year-old Linares, and it makes sense for him to use his wheels if he can’t take the heat. We haven’t see Haney in with anyone young or talented enough to give him problems until now.
Up to this point in Haney’s short six-year pro career, his best opponent was 39-year-old Yuriorkis Gamboa, and that guy is way past his prime.
Haney didn’t win his WBC belt by beating anyone. It was given to him by the World Boxing Council, which is why it’s difficult t know how good he is.
Linares ready for anything
“I want to show everybody a beautiful fight,” said Linares to Boxing Social. “And I had to change my style for this fight because this time I’m fighting with a young guy, a fast guy, and he’s going to want to try and use his legs all night. I need to be ready for that.
“I need to have more stamina for this fight because you never know what kind of strategy he wants to make from the first round.
“I need to be ready for everything. If he wants to follow me or if he wants to run, I need to be ready for everything. I think I have a very good chance to win the fight, so that’s the important thing for me. I still feel good.
“He’s a very social guy like Ryan Garcia, and they say a lot of things,” said Linares. “He still not fight with me because we need to wait a couple of days, and he’s thinking about having a plan to fight with Teofimo Lopez.
“We don’t even know what kind of fight they’re going to make because Lopez is fighting next month, and this guy [Haney] is fighting with me this Saturday. We don’t need to make a plan for the future.
“And we need to be ready for the future, not to make a plan for the future. I don’t need to make a plan for the future because boxing is boxing. You never know if somebody wins or somebody loses.
“I’m still focused on this fight, and then I need to sit down with my promoter and to think for the next. The most important thing is I’m ready for everyone. I need to fight with the best 135 right now,” said Linares.
Linares doesn’t like how Haney is already talking about fighting Teofimo Lopez before they’ve even fought.
Linares sees that as overconfidence on Haney’s part, and he’s going to make him pay by handing him a defeat on Saturday.
It’s been 15 months since Linares last fought in February 2020 with a win over Carlos Morales so that he could have some ring rust on him. Linares wanted to fight Ryan Garcia, but he couldn’t get that match-up.
Like many fighters, the pandemic has gotten in the way of Linares keeping active in the last year.
Ryan Garcia on Linares’ radar
“Before, it was a little more easy before corona, but now it’s a little more difficult because of his last fight with Luke Campbell,” Linares said when asked if things are more complicated now trying to set up a fight with Ryan Garcia.
“He knows that I have more punch than Luke Campbell. I don’t know if he’s going to be ready for a fight with me after this fight, but you never know. The most important thing is for this fight on Saturday night, and then maybe we can make that fight.
“No problem,” said Linares when asked if he’d be interested in fighting Luke Campbell in a rematch. “I have no problems in making that rematch. A couple of people asked me that question with Lomachenko. They’re still working at 135, so if I have the opportunity, why not?
“I’m so excited at seeing that fight because I know Nakatani, and I trained with him a couple of times in the past,” said Linares when asked about his views on the Vasily Lomachenko vs. Masayoshi Nakatani fight on June 26th. “Lomachenko looks so good, but I think it’s a very nice fight,” said Linares.
Ryan Garcia is someone that many lightweights want to fight, but when he does come back, Golden Boy will likely keep him away from dangerous opposition.
That means that Linares probably won’t get a chance to fight Ryan unless he loses to Haney on Saturday.
Jorge focused on Haney
“I don’t think they want to make an easy fight for Lopez, and a couple of times I saw him on social media, he looks so big,” said Linares about Teofimo Lopez’s next fight against George Kambosos Jr. on June 19th.
“So I don’t know if he’s going to have problems making weight, but after this fight, I think he wants to move to 140. He looks so big, he looked more than 147 or something like that, but I’m so excited at seeing that fight too.
“Now boxing is a little difficult because you can see a lot of champions in the same organization, but I don’t know about that,” Linares said about the WBC having two champions at 135 with Haney and Teofimo.
“The more important thing is I have a fight on Saturday. I need to be a champion again, and I have the opportunity to have unification with anyone. Why not? I like that,” said Haney.
If Linares wins this fight, it’ll set up a match between him and WBC Franchise champion Teofimo Lopez next. That one would be for all the marbles with all four titles at 135.
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