Terms agreed for Haney-Linares

WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney and three-division king Jorge Linares have agreed terms for a fight on May 15 at a venue to be decided. The bout will headline a Matchroom Boxing USA card on DAZN.

“We have an agreement in principle for the fight,” Linares’ co-promoter Eric Gomez told journalist Dan Rafael of BoxingScene. “We’re waiting for the contract to come in but we have a verbal agreement.

“I think it’s a great fight. Linares is still one of the top lightweights in the world. This is Haney’s biggest test.”

Las Vegas’ gifted Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) has been angling for a meaningful fight with one of the lightweight division’s marquee names, but with undisputed champion Teofimo Lopez facing IBF mandatory challenger George Kambosos and Gervonta Davis apparently moving up in weight to meet fellow WBA ‘Regular’ title holder Mario Barrios options became limited.

Thirteen years Haney’s senior, Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) represents the young American’s stiffest challenge yet. The Venezuelan veteran was due to face Dominican Javier Fortuna last August but that bout was cancelled when Linares was hospitalised after testing positive for Covid-19 whilst training in Tokyo.

“He’s all over everything and he’s ready to go,” added Gomez. “Linares has to win this one. This is probably the last chance he will have at a fighting for world title and he has to go into the fight thinking like that.”

Main images: (L) Matchroom Boxing (R) PA Images.