The WBC lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney will make his third defense of that title as he will step in the ring on May 29th against Jorge Linares at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Haney is coming off a unanimous decision win over Yuriorkis Gamboa in Miami last November, while the veteran Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) is looking to become a two-time holder of the WBC strap that he won in December 2014 against Javier Prieto. His reign with the WBC title lasted four years until a defeat to Vasily Lomachenko in New York. Now in his 15th world title fight, Linares will rely on his experience to get the better of the young champion.
“This is my moment to show the world that I still have a lot more to give at 135 pounds,” Linares said. “Devin Haney is a talented and quick-handed young man, but when I was his age, I had already become a world champion by snatching the title away from a real World champion like Oscar Larios.”
“Without a doubt it will be a tremendous fight, but I will demonstrate that Haney made a big mistake by accepting a challenge that he is still not ready to overcome.”
After being named the WBC champion in 2019 following a victory over Zaur Abdullaev, Haney defended the belt against over Alfredo Santiago in November 2019 then Gamboa last year. The 22-year-old unbeaten champion (25-0, 18 KOs) will fight in his hometown for the third time in his career and likely his biggest challenge to date.
“I grew up watching Linares and the fact that this fight is happening in Las Vegas is incredible. Boxing fans around the world are eager to see me step up in competition which is great, and I know Linares is coming to fight. I’m ready to give the fans a spectacular performance. The better competition brings the best out of me. Against Linares, I’m going to show the world why I’m the king of the Lightweight division.”
That division is filled with talent which includes these two fighters plus unified champion Teofimo Lopez, Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia, Lomachenko, and more. Having Haney and Linares in the ring together would get the division one step closer to having a unanimous top fighter at lightweight.
Cover photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA