Devin Haney Seeks Respect This Weekend Against Jorge Linares

Devin “The Dream” Haney needs your respect.

The WBC World Lightweight champ seeks to earn it in defense of his strap against Jorge “El Nino” Linares. The clash happens at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, May 29, live worldwide on DAZN.

Haney (25-0, 18 KOs) puts his title on the line for the third time against the former multiple division world champion in Linares (47-5, 29 KOs).

Linares is looking to regain the green and gold belt he held in 2014-15.

The fight is a definite step up in competition and comes on the heels of what many consider a lackluster performance against Yuriyorkis Gamboa. Haney scored a unanimous decision victory against the Cuban in November 2020.

Haney, 22 and the youngest promoter in boxing history, expects the best of the 35-year-old Linares. 

“I am expecting a firefight, and I can’t wait,” said Haney. “We don’t know what Jorge will turn up, but I am ready for anything, and I can’t wait to show it.

“Jorge brings so much to the table. Speed, power, ring IQ, experience against the best of the best, and I think he’s the type of opponent that will bring the best out of me, make me bring out my A-game, take it to the next level, the elite level.

Linares is looking to kickstart the latest chapter of his storied career by picking up the WBC belt that he owned back in 2014 to 2016 from Haney.

“It’s a big fight and a new challenge for me,” said Linares. “I have a lot of respect for Devin. He’s a young guy, a World champion, but on Saturday, the respect goes, and I am ready for an amazing fight, and I hope he’s ready too. He knows who he is fighting – a four-time World champion. I have a lot of experience, and that’s the most important thing in this fight to win the fight. He doesn’t have that. He has talent. He has youth and hunger and the belt.

“A fight with me is a different level. I can show so many styles; I’m naturally fast and strong, I don’t have a lot of KOs, but he knows I can punch. I think he will run all night, but I will be waiting for him; I will follow him. If he wants to fight inside, I am ready for him. He’s going to have big problems on Saturday night, he knows I can do everything, and he knows I have to timing to put him down.

Haney, a part of what many are considering the new four king era of Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia, and Tank Davis, lacks the same definitive win as his contemporaries. 

A win over Linares would catapult his ring resume.

“People think he will have success,” said Haney. “Some think he will even win the fight, and that’s why it will show that I am elite and one of the best, if not the best, in the world.

“Every day, my dad and I get to know each other more and more. This camp has been great and we’re both ready for this one night to show everything we have been working on. You can’t train for me, because you don’t know what style I am going to bring. I’ve learned so many different styles and I can adjust, and that’s the difference between me and a lot of other fighters.”

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.