By: Hans Themistode
Devin Haney has seemingly run out of names to call out for his next ring appearance. The WBC lightweight titlist has asked for matches against Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia and of course, undisputed champion Teofimo Lopez. None however, have decided to take him up on his offer.
With most in the boxing world still asking the 22-year-old to go out and prove himself before landing a big opportunity, Haney has seemingly taken their advice.
As first reported by Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, Haney and former multiple division titlist Jorge Linares are currently working behind the scenes on a showdown. If finalized, their contest would take place on April 17th.
For Haney, stepping into the ring against someone the caliber of Linares is exactly what the doctor ordered. Despite holding an undefeated record and regardless of having a world title draped over his shoulders, Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) is mostly viewed as an unproven commodity.
Most of those thoughts stem from Haney’s lack of upper-echelon competition. In his last ring appearance, Haney defended his title for the second time against long-faded former champion Yuriokis Gamboa. While many were expecting Haney to get rid of his man early, Haney was forced to settle for a unanimous decision victory.
Although Gamboa managed to win only a single round, considering how he was coming off a ruptured Achilles and is 39 years of age, Haney’s performance was regarded as mediocre.
In Linares, despite the fact that he is 35-years-old, he would be viewed as the most accomplished and most dangerous fighter Haney has ever faced.
The Venezuela native might be considered a top contender at 135 pounds but he is currently battling inactivity as he hasn’t fought for over a year. Before sitting on the sidelines, Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) was in the midst of a two-fight win streak. With that said, the former multiple division titlist was stopped in the first round against Pablo Cesar Cano as he attempted to move up in weight in early 2019.
Outside of that speed bump, Linares was credited for putting on what many described as a career-best performance against pound-for-pound star, Vasiliy Lomachenko in May of 2018. On the night in question, Linares dropped his man in the sixth round and mostly fought on even terms before ultimately succumbing to a tenth-round stoppage defeat.