Devin Haney vs. Jorge Linares: Fight prediction, undercard, odds, start time, how to watch, live stream


Those who have asked for WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney to step up his level of competition will get their wish on Saturday when he faces veteran three-division champion Jorge Linares. The fight takes place at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas (8 p.m. ET, DAZN).

Haney is one of the crop of fresh young stars in the lightweight division, though he has been battling being labeled an “email champ” by others in the sport, including Teofimo Lopez, the man who holds every other major title in the division. This stems from Haney’s never having truly “won” the title, instead being elevated from interim champion to “world” champion when then-titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko was elevated to the sanctioning body’s “franchise champion.” That the interim title didn’t even need to exist at the time as Lomachenko was an active champion only further muddied the WBC waters.

Even taking all that into consideration, Haney is clearly a player at the top end of the division and could be a real force in the sport in the coming years.

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Haney has not, however, fought elite competition yet, leading to a second layer of criticism for the 22-year-old. The fight with Linares is a step toward addressing the critics.

Linares has won world championships at featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight, at times performing like one of the best boxers in the world. Linares has, however, been chinny throughout his career, with all five of his career losses coming by knockout. Even with some liabilities in punch resistance, Linares has put together a solid career and even battled Lomachenko tough, scoring a knockdown before being stopped in Round 10.

Experience will be one of the deciding factors, according to Linares. And the experience edge tilts wildly in Linares’ favor, with 320 rounds logged as a professional to just 138 for Haney.

With Linares having the ability to utilize a variety of styles, Haney will have to be on his game for 12 rounds. That means not turning in a performance like his most recent win, a decision over Yuriorkis Gamboa.

Haney was never in trouble against Gamboa, winning a clear decision, but he also visibly tried to coast from the opening bell after pre-fight vows to dominate Gamboa before getting the stoppage. Even while coasting, Haney faded a little in the late rounds, raising some questions about how Haney would hold up against someone who brings consistent pressure, something Linares seems to know.

“I don’t know what kind he wants to make, what style he wants to do,” Linares told DAZN. “I saw a lot of video of him and he doesn’t change too much. I hope he wants to change something for this fight because he comes to fight with me, in the close fight, I can kill him very quick, [meaning I can] beat him more easily.

“… I need to see in the first round what he wants to do. I am ready for two or three different styles: I can use my natural boxing, speed and relaxed, but my plan is I need to be aggressive with him, because I saw the fight with Gamboa, and Gamboa was aggressive.”

Haney vs. Linares card, odds

Devin Haney (c) -900

Jorge Linares +600

WBC lightweight title

Martin Joseph Ward -135

Azinga Fuzile +115

Super featherweight

Jason Quigley -220

Shane Mosley Jr. +180

Middleweight

Chantelle Cameron (c) -4500

Melissa Hernandez +1600

WBC women’s super lightweight title

Reshat Mati

Ryan Pino

Welterweight

Ramla Ali

Mikayla Nebel

Women’s super bantamweight

Khalil Coe

Nathaniel Tadd

Light heavyweight

Viewing info

  • Date: May 29 | Location: Mandalay Bay — Las Vegas
  • Start time: 8 p.m. ET | How to watch: DAZN

Prediction

Linares is a live dog, especially at +600, but he’s also very possibly past his prime and past his ability to compete with an elite boxer like Haney. At his best, Linares could mix it up with big flurries and really sharp boxing — though his chin, as mentioned earlier, is always a liability. Haney has the skills to just box his way to a win and he does have enough power to score a knockout if he decides to press for it. Linares is dangerous enough that Haney can’t afford to fight like he did against Gamboa. This is going to be a hard night for Haney, but he should be able to survive losing some rounds to take a surprisingly competitive decision. Pick: Devin Haney via UD





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