WBC lightweight champion of the world Devin Haney will be locking horns against three-division world champion Jorge Linares on 29th May to defend his belt and is already forthright in praising his challenger’s abilities in the ring.
The bout against 35-year-old Linares faceoff will mark Devin Haney’s third straight title defense, the first one being against Alfredo Santiago in November 2019, just two months after “The Dream” clinched the vacant green and gold belt with a quick 4th round victory over Zaur Abdullaev at the Hulu Theater in New York City.
Haney, who bagged $2 million in his previous title defense against Yuriorkis Gamboa in November last year, where he defeated the Cuban contender via unanimous decision, is set to pocket a whopping $3 million in his upcoming Linares fight.
While odds are likely on the 22-year-old Haney’s side compared to his mid-30s veteran, the champion nonetheless lauds over Linares to be the most rugged fighter he has boxed against so far.
This fight, I feel nervous and excited for: Devin Haney speaks his mind regarding the Linares title defense
Although he’s set to face a titleholder who is a whopping 13 years younger, Jorge Linares’ decorated boxing career speaks for himself. The Venezuelan has been world champion in three different weight classes, having clinched the WBC featherweight, the WBA super featherweight as well as the WBA and WBC lightweight belts.
In a recent interview with Fighthype, Devin Haney picked up how Linares performed against both Luke Campbell and Vasyl Lomachenko, evem though the latter ended up in a defeat for Linares.
“Jorge Linares is a terrific fighter,” said Haney, “I want to say that besides Teofimo, and [Orlando Salido], he [Linares] probably did the best [against Vasily Lomachenko]. He went in there and dropped Loma. He has speed, he has power, and he dropped Luke Campbell.”
“I just feel like I’m different [than Linares], and this is a fight that I get to finally showcase my skills in and showcase my talent against somebody I’ll get my due,” the 22-year-old added.
While he was the WBA champion at 135, Linares defended his belt against Campbell but lost it against Lomachenko. His last fight dates back to 14th February last year when Linares knocked out Carlos Morales at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
“I’m very excited about this fight. This fight, I feel nervous and excited for,” Haney went on, “I get to showcase everything in my arsenal.“
“I think he’s [Linares] the biggest puncher I will have faced, the fastest and the most skills,” Haney acknowledged.