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  Haney Outpoints Linares

By William Trillo @ Ringside
Photos: Ed Mulholland - Matchroom


The boxing stage was set in Las Vegas on Memorial Day weekend. With an almost full house at The Mandalay Bay, Lightweight Champion Devin Haney (26-0, 15 KOís) was ready to face in toughest foe in the three-time former champ Jorge Linares (47-6, 29 KOís). It was a match that was sure not to disappoint. Itís always interesting to see what the new young gun can do against a proven and seasoned former champion.

In the opening round Haney opened aggressively with a good jab that was landing often. Linares on the other hand was content to land just a few attention getting counters. The battle was on.

Haney opened round two much more aggressively and was now throwing some good right hands into the mix. Linares was still patient while landing extraordinarily strong punches. Haney made it clear he did not like the taste of that leather and began holding. It was a sign of things to come.

Round three started with Haney teeing off early with a barrage of punches. Linares motioned for him to bring it on, but it was now time for Linares to start taking some initiative.

No sooner said than done, Linares put his foot on the gas and started putting pressure on Haney. Loud thudding punches were landing on Haney, and he did not like it. The punches that sounded like Linares was pounding a drum reverberated in the arena.

Round five was a barn burner and exceedingly difficult to score. Linares was now the one coming forward and Haney was almost always in full retreat. Again, Linares was landing shots that were getting the attention of everyone in the house, including Haney.

The afore mentioned holding by Haney reared its ugly head again in round six. It was obvious he didnít like the medicine Linares was serving up. Haneyís reaction to those blows was to clutch and grab, nothing more.

Quicker to the punch in round seven Haney was in charge of most of the round. After showing some signs of not wanting to engage Haney proved he was a game fighter.

With nothing to lose the aged warrior Linares was more than willing to exchange over the course of the next two rounds.

Haney had a decent round in round ten up until the point that Linares clipped him near the end of the round. The shot stunned Haney and he was visibly hurt. Adding salt to the wind Linares performed a Matador move as he ushered a buzzed Haney back to his corner.

Linares clipped Haney early in round eleven which had Haney go into that holding shell that would draw the disdain of the crowd for the last two rounds. Anytime he was getting rough upped, Haney held and the crowd booed. It became a theme.

In the last and final round Linares wanted to do everything to get to Haney, but again Haney was content to hold. And again the crowd was less than content with that over and over again tactic and they booed to let Haney know it.

In the end Haney held on to his World Boxing Council World Light Title with scores that read 115-113 and 116-112 x 2.

On one hand Haney proved he can hang in there with a very formidable former champion like Linares. On the other hand Linares exposed a side of Haney that his hometown crowd did not appreciate at all. The hugging and holding displayed by Haney when he got in trouble gave his fans something to think about.

On his victory Haney said, ďI just kept smart, used the jabs, feinted and landed shots in the 12th round. You are going to get hit with big shots in boxing. I didnít get dropped, I didnít get hurt. You see fighters get dropped and get up from big shots and people praise them, I didnít get dropped, I stayed on my feet, kept throwing shots and closed it out. I want to fight the best, I stayed focused on Jorge this week, I knew he was a tough competitor and I got the job done with the game plan. If Teofimo wants to do it next, letís do it for all the belts, the real undisputed.Ē

It was bombs away in the Middleweight battle between Jason Quigley (19-1, 14 KOís) and Shane Mosley Jr (17-4, 10 KOís) in this significant WBO/NABO title fight. Fans were treated to a spectacular show as neither man was shy about letting the punches go. Credit to both men for showing true warriorsí hearts.

In the end scores read 95-95 even and 97-93 and 96-94 for Quigley who took the Majority decision win. With the victory Quigley is looking to make his mark in the loaded Middleweight division.

Super Lightweight Chantelle Cameron (14-0, 8 KOís) used superior skill to defeat the gritty Melissa Hernandez (23-8-3, 7 KOís) in this World Boxing Council World Female Super Light Title. After taking more than her share of punishment at the hands of Cameron, the ref decided to bring this one to an end as Hernandez, though rugged, never really stood a chance to defeat the champ. Officially the fight came to an end at the 1:38 mark of round 5 via TKO.

The fight between Super Featherweights Martin Joseph Ward (24-2-2, 11 KOís) Azinga Fuzile (15-1, 9 KOís) started out somewhat lacking luster, but things heated up in round five. Things stayed at a torrid pace in round six as the fighters exchanged serious punches. Then in round seven Fuzile uncorked a right-hand flush to the chin of Ward sending him down. Moments later the corner of the fallen fighter mercifully halted the carnage. Officially the bout was stopped via TKO at the 2:47 mark of round seven.

Welterweights Reshat Mati (9-0, 7 KOís) and Ryan Pino (8-6-2, 4 KOís) gave the fans an exciting slugfest in ruggedly fought six round battle. Both men dished out the heavy leather serving up punishment throughout the fight. In the end the judges scored it 60-54 and 58-56 x 2 all in favor of Mati who keeps his undefeated record intact.

Featherweight Ramla Ali (3-0) remains undefeated as she took a unanimous decision over Mikayla Nebel (4-9, 1 KO) over four rounds. Ali pitched a shutout on the scorecards with scores of 60-54 across the board.

Light Heavyweight Khalil Coe made his pro debut an impressive one as he dropped Nathaniel Tadd (2-5, 1 KO) twice in round one with nice body work. More of the same dropped Tadd again in round two. The ref called it off at the 1:10 mark of the second.

In the opening bout of the night Super Welterweight Jonathan Ryan Burrs (3-4) fell victim to Amari Jones (2-0, 2 KOís) via first round knockout.


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