The consensus among boxing experts was that Devin Haney needed a landmark victory to add to his impressive resume.
On Saturday night, Haney retained his WBC lightweight title after defeating Jorge Linares by unanimous decision (116-112, 116-112, 115-113) at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. Haney won the bout 117-111, according to DAZN News.
The 22-year-victory old’s didn’t come without struggle, as he was knocked out in the 10th round by a right hand from Linares.
“He smacked me in the face with a powerful shot. I overcame obstacles and completed the task, “During his post-fight interview with DAZN’s Chris Mannix, Haney said.
Haney had the fight under control and appeared to be on his way to a shutout as the faster, more competent boxer until he was buzzed by a short right hook from Linares. Haney walked back to his corner on jelly legs after the shot.
Linares started the 11th round hoping to build on his previous stanza’s momentum. Haney was surprised one more by the former three-division world champion, this time with a left hook. With an uppercut, Haney fought back. As the 12th round began, Haney finally gained his bearings. Rather than staying in the pocket and trading shots, Haney managed to keep Linares at bay for the last three minutes to retain his WBC title.
“This is a boxing match.” About what transpired in the 10th round, Haney commented, “You’re going to be whacked with big shots.” “However, it’s about staying box smart.” I was not dropped. I was not injured in any way. Other fighters in the lightweight division were dropped at the end of the day.
What’s next for Haney is the question. Teofimo Lopez, the unified lightweight champion, indicated this week that if he beats George Kambosos Jr. on June 19, he’d prefer to fight Haney for the title.
“Let’s do it if Teofimo Lopez is next,” Haney added.
“Let’s do it for all the belts if Teofimo wants it next — the genuine undisputed.”
Here’s what transpired in the fight between Devin Haney and Jorge Linares.