Three-weight champion Jorge Linares feels that WBC lightweight title holder Devin Haney will be stepping into deep waters when they meet at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas this Saturday.
Venezuelan Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) has mixed it with the best in an almost 19-year pro career and believes this experience at a higher level will prove crucial at the weekend. The 22-year-old Haney (25-0 15 KOs) is undoubtedly talented but remains a work in progress.
The bout with Linares should reveal where Las Vegan Haney stands in an uber-talented 135lbs division that includes Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis. Linares, 35, insists his greater pedigree will prove pivotal.
“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,” said Linares. “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.
“I know his style, I trained with him a long time ago in Vegas and we did some sparring. He was a baby then! But he’s a champion now and I hope he’s ready for a tough fight.
“I don’t need to say anything about what he’s said. I just think about myself and what I need to do, not what he says or does. I don’t like to talk too much, I don’t need to talk to get fans or followers or anything, I just need to go out and do my job and put on a great fight.”