This is an excellent fight between two top Lightweights who both need a big win to stand out at the weight. Jorge Linares is a three weight world champion but may be slightly past his best while Devin Haney is 25-0 but doesn’t have a real marquee victory yet. His win over Gamboa is a good name but the context of Gamboa being 39 and coming off a injury in a weight division hes not suited for does tarnish his victory. A win over Jorge Linares would prove hes a top lightweight and hopefully force some of the other big names in the division to fight him. For Jorge Linares this may be his final shot at a world title so he’ll have plenty of motivation especially considering Haney isn’t a big puncher which is something Linares has struggled against his whole career. If Haney can’t hurt Linares I see this being a very competitive fight where Haney could lose as this is his biggest test yet and while the competition hes faced isn’t bad very little of it has been world class.
At first I didn’t particularly like this fight but looking at it more deeply I think its an intriguing fight and most importantly a competitive one. Linares is brillant offensively but has horrible gaps in his defence which good fighters should exploit. The big question is whether Haney is good enough at this stage of his career to exploit those holes and finish Linares or whether he’ll be resigned to boxing twelve rounds versus a fighter he may not be technically better than. I think he is capable of out boxing Linares but it’ll be a hard task and thats what makes this fight exciting as Linares could just as easily overwhelm Haney with his offense and win a decision or even get a late stoppage if Haney falls apart late in the fight.
I expect more fights involving the bigger names in the sport to be announced in the coming weeks as if they are to stay on a two fights a year schedule they need to fight soon.