Devin Haney, Jorge Linares Agree to May 15 Title Bout

Devin Haney Vs Jorge Linares

  • Devin Haney and Jorge Linares have come to terms on a May 15, 2021 bout.
  • The bout will be Haney’s third defense of the WBC lightweight champion.
  • Three-division champion Linares will be looking for his third straight win since suffering a shocking defeat against Pablo Cesar Cano in 2019.

WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney has agreed to fight former three-division world champion Jorge Linares in May. The bout is expected to headline a Matchroom boxing event on DAZN scheduled for May 15th.

Haney’s promoter Matchroom made the offer to Team Linares at the beginning of last week and after a quick back and forth, both parties came to terms on Friday. Golden Boy Promotions, which represents Linares, also confirmed the agreement over the weekend.

WBC Lightweight Champion

The 22-year old Haney will be making the third defense of the 135-pound title. The Las Vegas native defeated Zaur Abdullaev in September 2019 to become the interim WBC lightweight champion. He was eventually promoted to full champion status when Vasyl Lomachenko elected to fight Teofimo Lopez rather than make a mandatory title defense against Haney.

Two month after winning the belt, Haney went on to successfully defend it against Alfredo Santiago. However, he suffered a shoulder injury in that fight and underwent surgery. Haney was declared champion in recess, but was later reinstated as full champion after recovering from the injury. He would defeat former world champion Yuriorkis Gamboa last November for a second successful title defense.

Haney’s next fight was supposed to be a title unification against interim champion Ryan Garcia but the latter has other ideas. Garcia was supposedly trying to book a Manny Pacquiao fight but after that has fizzled, he is now focusing his attention on WBA lightweight champion Gervonta “Tank” Davis. Linares meanwhile, will be the most high profile opponent that Haney has faced.

Shocking First Round Defeat

Linares is a former three-division world champion who last held a world title in 2018 before losing to Vasyl Lomachenko. The 35-year old Venezuelan bounced back from his defeat to Lomachenko by defeating Abner Cotto four months later. However, he would suffer a shocking first round defeat at the hands of Pablo Cesar Cano on January 18, 2019.

Since that setback, Linares has picked up back to back wins over Al Toyogon and Carlos Morales. Linares was supposed to face former junior lightweight champion Javier Fortuna in August of last year but that bout was called off after Linares tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized for two weeks in Tokyo where he was training.

El Nino de Oro has since recovered and according to Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez, Linares has no had no lingering issues with COVID-19 and is ready to go. The bout with Haney will be his first appearance in a world title fight since getting knocked out by Lomachenko.

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