By: Hans Themistode
Having spent plenty of time with him in numerous sparring sessions, Jorge Linares had a good idea as to what to expect when he took on Devin Haney. The two faced off last night at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada for Haney’s WBC lightweight title.
Considering that every time Linares (47-6, 29 KOs) tasted defeat it came via stoppage, the widespread belief heading in was that Haney would be able to beat the Venezuelan native in similar fashion. With that said, the chin of Linares held up just fine.
Though he proved to be durable, Linares still went on to lose a close unanimous decision on the night. As he left the ring, the former multiple-time champion appeared to be fine. When asked to evaluate his much younger opponent, Linares pointed out some of his strengths and weaknesses.
“He was fast but I didn’t feel his punch,” said Linares during an interview with Fight Hub TV following the loss. “He has good speed but only that. His style is a little difficult because he always going back, back, back and then clench.”
As previously mentioned by Linares, Haney showed exactly why he’s one of boxing’s young stars with an early boxing clinic. But while he enjoyed plenty of success early on, Linares took over down the stretch.
Facing a wide deficit and fighting most of their contest with his hands in his pockets, Linares finally let his hands go in the tenth round. A visibly rocked Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) stumbled to his corner at the end of the round and never appeared to truly recover for the duration of the match. With Haney seemingly on the ropes, the 22-year-old held profusely. Despite facing Haney in his hometown, most of the crowd cheered Linares on as they wanted him to go on the attack. Yet, no matter how hard he tried, he simply couldn’t empty the tank.
Now, as he looks back, Linares explains what wrong and what ultimately led to his defeat.
“I was so tired because I was only thinking to block, block, block,” explained Linares. “Then when I get the chance, I do combinations because I have more punch than him but the referee was a little intense. In the ninth round, I have a big chance. When he come back to the ring, he was so bad and he only come to clench me but the referee was even more intense. I thought he was going to take away one point.”
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