WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney showed respect for his defeated opponent Jorge Linares in speaking to him afterward and asking him how his punching power compared to Vasily Lomachenko.
The 22-year-old Haney’s punches never had Linares in trouble last night, although they did mark up his face. Haney’s power or lack thereof is why Linares was able to stick around the entire fight.
If Haney had any power, he could have prevented Linares from getting to him late in the fight with a big right hand that hurt him in the 10th.
In May 2018, Linares was stopped in the 10th round by Lomachenko in a competitive contest. Lomachenko was coming off of shoulder surgery at the time, but he could still stop Linares with a body shot.
Linares (47-6, 29 KOs) was able to go the distance with the unbeaten WBC 135-lb champion Haney (26-0, 15 KOs) last Saturday night in losing a 12 round unanimous decision in a thrilling fight at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Linares: “I’m so happy for you, and so happy that you gave me this big opportunity. It’s my first time in fighting with an amazing boxer. He’s a young guy.”
Haney: “How was my speed?”
Linares: “It was fast. I was too tight in the first five or six rounds.”
Haney: “I knew that you were going to try and pressure me, I knew that obviously. I heard you before the fight when you were talking. You didn’t say it, but you said it in so many words. So I wanted to try and press you out first. How was my power compared to Loma?”
Linares: “You have power, I like your jab, but you need to use jab-jab and two. You use only one jab. Then when I press you, you lose a little bit of balance. When you do one jab, you need to do it again. One, two, and three.”
Haney: “I knew you were trying to time me, so I was switching it up. I would jab, try to feint you, jab. You’re a true champion.
Haney wants to take on IBF/WBA/WBC Franchise/WBO lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez next. That’s going to be a dangerous one for Haney if he doesn’t improve on his power by the time he faces Teofimo because this is a guy that can punch with either hand.
“If Teofimo Lopez is next,” Haney said after the fight, “let’s do it.” “If Teofimo wants to get it next, let’s do it for all the belts — the real undisputed.”
It’ll be an excellent fight between Haney and Teofimo for the undisputed championship at 135. If Teofimo wins, he can finally say that he’s the undisputed champion without boxing fans and fighters telling him that he’s not.