Devin Haney came, he saw, he was rocked, but he conquered. Haney defeated Jorge Linares Saturday night in Las Vegas in a unanimous decision.
Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) for the first 32 minutes of the fight was the clear winner putting on a great show throughout. Then came round 10 where he was caught by a quick combination from Jorge Linares (47-6, 29 KOs) as the round ended that rocked him as he stumbled to the corner. Haney then went the last two rounds and did what he needed to survive and stay ahead on the cards. Haney won by scores of (116-112, 116-112, 115-113). Though many will point to the ending of the fight, Haney’s performance up until that point should not be overlooked.
Devin Haney the aggressor
Devin Haney has been accused of not being an aggressive fighter, but on this night he was on the attack. Against Linares, evidenced by his pinch stats, Haney landed (215 out of 675) while Linares landed (116 out of 620). Haney also landed 136 power punches to 91 from Linares as he showed much more offensive firepower.
Haney was aggressive throughout and kept pressing forward as he responded to the pressure that was brought to him with crisp shots and good counters. The most impressive strategy from Haney was his jab and head movement as he would throw a punch and already be out of the way of the counter thrown by his Venezuelan counterpart. The jab and body work seemed to wear Linares down, but his response at the end the 10th round added some drama to the championship rounds.
Observers and fans will claim the champion was wobbled and try minimize the performance and the win. There is no reason for that as this fight showed what Haney is capable of and why Linares was looked at as a legitimate challenge. Linares showed the veteran championship mettle and was worthy, but Haney showed why he’s a champ and had a commanding lead. With the young stars at 135, the question now is will we get Haney against any of them? If Teofimo Lopez, the kingpin of the division, wins his fight on June 19th, do we get Haney vs Lopez this year?
Boxing fans can only hope.