Devin Haney retained his WBC world lightweight title in a thrilling fight with Jorge Linares at the Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night(DAZN).
Haney (26-0 15 KOs) used his speed and elusiveness early against the former three-weight World champion and was in control.
However, the 22-year-old Haney was tested by Linares’ power in this fight. Linares delivered a three-punch combination that wobbled Haney right at the bell of the tenth round. Haney staggered back to his corner.
“It was a good shot,” Haney said. “But I wasn’t hurt, sometimes when you get hit by a good shot, you have to be smart, continue the game plan, and I did that and got the win.
“I knew he was going to come here and give it everything. It was a huge opportunity for him; he would be willing to get knocked out to go for the win, take my biggest shots to get this title.”
Haney stayed away from Linares in the final two rounds as the 35-year-old Linares tried to stop him, but Haney survived.
All three judges gave Haney the nod on the cards 116-112, 116-112, and 115-113.
“I just kept smart, used the jabs, feinted, and landed shots in the 12th round. You are going to get hit with big shots in boxing,” Haney said. “I didn’t get dropped; I didn’t get hurt. You see fighters get dropped and get up from big shots and people praise them; I didn’t get dropped; I stayed on my feet, kept throwing shots, and closed it out.
Haney wants to unify at 135, which means a fight with Teofimo Lopez.
“I want to fight the best,” Haney said. “I stayed focused on Jorge this week; I knew he was a tough competitor, and I got the job done with the game plan. If Teofimo Lopez wants to do it next, let’s do it for all the belts, the real undisputed.”
These are the types of fights you want for Haney. He goes through adversity, fights through it, and gets the victory.