By: Hans Themistode
For the vast majority of their contest, Devin Haney looked like a world-beater. The WBC lightweight titlist took on the highly-rated Jorge Linares at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, last night.
Heading into their showdown, many believed the boxing skills of Linares would trouble Haney early on. Yet, the sharpshooting former multiple-time belt holder was simply no match for the Las Vegas, resident. Although Haney mostly dominated, he received plenty of flak for the way he responded during the championship rounds.
With Linares (47-6, 29 KOs) clearly losing on the cards, he landed a picture-perfect left, right combination at the end of the tenth which left Haney visibly wobbled. For the duration of their contest, Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) opted to clench on the inside as opposed to actually engage. But while many have downgraded his performance due to his shaky ending, promoter Eddie Hearn views it differently.
“For nine rounds it was a masterclass,” said Hearn during an interview with Fight Hub TV. “He got buzzed in the tenth and had to recover, it was a good learning experience for him. Don’t forget, he was the same guy who dropped Vasiliy Lomachenko. Linares can punch very hard.”
To his credit, Haney never appeared to be on his way to hitting the deck. Pair his ability to survive the championship rounds with his overall boxing skills, and Hearn believes Haney is on his way to superstardom. In fact, the long-time promoter has a question for everyone who continues to doubt the WBC lightweight titlist.
“Show me another fighter at 22 who’s as talented as Devin Haney. It was a great win, great learning experience, I think he’s ready for all the big boys.”
With the biggest win safely in his back pocket, Haney will now go back home to his palatial estate and await what’s next. While it’s far too early to make an assumption, if Hearn has things go his way, an undisputed lightweight showdown will be next on Haney’s calendar.
“I think he should fight Teofimo (Lopez). It’s a tough fight but I would love to make that fight. It’s a brilliant fight for the division.”
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