By Jim Calfa: Jorge Linares says Vasyl Lomachenko can defeat undisputed lightweight champion Devin Haney if he takes the inside or middle range so he can land his shots on Saturday.
Linares expects Haney (29-0, 15 KOs) to move and keep the fight at a distance so that Lomachenko has few opportunities to trade.
However, Linare feels that the smaller & older Lomachenko has the speed and power to get inside to hurt Haney. He’s got to move fast and negate the clinching that Haney will be using.
The former three-division world champion Linares fought both guys, losing to them in competitive fights. Linares did a lot better against Haney, coming close to stopping him in the tenth round in their clash in 2021.
The fight against Linares is the beginning of Haney’s constant clinching style that he uses now. When Linares had Haney repeatedly hurt in rounds 10, 11, and 12, he used clinging to survive to the final belt to keep from getting knocked out.
If Haney hadn’t clinched excessively in the final nine minutes, he would have been knocked out for sure by Linares.
At the time, a lot of boxing fans felt that Haney should have been penalized by referee Russell Mora for the excessive holding. The downside of the fight is that Haney changed his fighting style, and has been transformed into a boring clincher with a John ‘The Quiet Man’ Ruiz style of fighting.
Lomachenko not old
“It’s not an easy fight for both of them. Haney is becoming bigger and bigger, stronger and stronger. He had a good fight with me,” said former three-division world champion Jorge Linares to Fight Hub TV.
“You can see physically that he looks very strong; he looks ready. Also Lomachenko too. That’s why I’m so excited. I cannot tell you who is the best. We want to see who is the best lightweight right now.
“I’m excited. I’m not talking about a boxing right now. I’m talking about like a fan. I know both of them. I’ve fought both of them, so I know very well Lomachenko. I know very well Haney. So who wants to win?
“It depends who wants to put in the extra effort to win the fight. It’s not easy for the both of them. That’s why I’m so excited to see what kind of fight they’re going to make.
“I don’t think so,” said Linares when asked if Lomachenko is getting old at 35. “I think Lomachenko is ready to make a beautiful fight. He’s thinking, ‘This might be my last opportunity.’ So that’s why he must be ready for this fight.
“Everybody knows that Haney is a very young guy and looks strong, and he’s going to be better and better. It doesn’t depend on him being young. It depends on the experience that he has. He doesn’t have more experience than Lomachenko,” said Linares.
Lomachenko looked great up until his long layoff when he went to war in his home try. When Loma came back after close to a year off, he struggled to defeat Jamaine Ortiz last October.
Loma has more power than Haney
“So now we’re going to see the most important thing about Lomachenko is his experience because talent he has,” said Linares. “He’s fast, and he has more power than Haney, I think so. He kills you little by little. I tell you this because I found out with him.
“The thing that Haney has is distance, he’s young, and he’s more bigger than Loma. But what I think in this fight is it depends on the plan to be better and better to win the fight.
“The strategy is going to be the fundamental key for him or for Haney to win the fight. Loma looks good. He looks fine. You see with my fight. He’s not the same Loma that fought back then. But you saw that when he fought Nakatani and [Jamaine] Ortiz, they were both good boxers too.
“So now we want to see the best Loma. Maybe the best, and maybe the last fight of Loma. We don’t know, and that’s why I’m so excited to see. I like the style of Loma because he’s clean always. I think the plan he tried to make for this fight is to be at middle distance and the short distance to be able to hurt Haney,” said Jorge.
Devin will want to stay on outside
“Haney is the opposite side. He wants to be long distance. He wants to run and move,” Linares said. “That’s the thing. He doesn’t have the same power that I have. He doesn’t have the punch. So he wants to run and run and move to see if Loma is tired because he thinks he’s old.
“That’s why I’m excited to see this fight from the beginning and after the sixth or seventh round because people have that same question. ‘Does Loma still have that same stamina?’ It’s not easy for both of them.
“100%,” said Linares when asked if Lomachenko can hurt Haney in the same way that he did. “If Loma has the timing, the opportunity, and the tempo and to be in the middle and the short distance, he can do that 100%, yes.
“I hope Loma makes a beautiful and amazing training camp because of that jab. I never made the training team because I was in Japan with the corona situation. I never had the opportunity to have a similar partner like Haney. That’s why I lost the first round from the beginning of the first round to the fifth or sixth round.
“I didn’t make the reaction. I saw the jab, but I never do anything. But with Loma, if he makes an amazing training camp, then he can see the jab. Oh yeah, 100%. That’s the thing.
“If we’re talking about boxing, real boxing, then Haney,” said Linares when asked who wins this fight on Saturday night.
“But in my heart, Loma. But if Loma is inside, he can win the fight maybe by TKO or maybe by point. That’s the thing. It depends on the strategy,” said Linares when told that Lomachenko would need to get past Haney’s jab to win.