Devin Haney vs. Jorge Linares Odds, Pick & Prediction: How to Back Undefeated Lightweight Champion (Saturday, May 29)
David Becker/Getty Images. Pictured: Devin Haney (left) and Jorge Linares.
- One of Boxing's youngest and brightest stars, Devin Haney, will defend his WBC lightweight title against former champ Jorge Linares Saturday.
- Haney is a heavy betting favorite (-1000 odds) to defeat Linares despite the 13-year age and experience gap between the two fighters.
- Raheem Palmer explains why this is a great spot to bet Haney and how to get better odds on young phenom to win.
Haney vs. Linares Odds
Devin Haney is set to make the third defense of his WBC lightweight title against former three-weight world champion Jorge Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) in what shapes up to be his best opponent to date.
After winning a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Alfredo Santiago in November 2019 and former featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa in November 2020, the 22-year-old Haney is Ring Magazine’s No. 3-ranked lightweight and has a bright future ahead of him, including a possible shot at unifying bout with IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring Magazine champion Teofimo Lopez.
But first Haney (25-0, 15 KOs) must get through the battle tested 35-year old Linares, who is coming off two straight victories — a 10-round unanimous decision over Al Toyogon in September 2019 and a fourth-round knockout of Carlos Morales in February 2020.
Haney has been unsuccessful in his attempts to make fights with other big-name opponents but with Linares stepping up to the plate, this could be the fight which takes his career to the next level.
After 19 years, Linares is in the twilight of his career with five losses, all by stoppage, but given his experience, he’s expected to be a worthy test for Haney, who has yet to fight top competition throughout his five-year pro career. Nonetheless, oddsmakers have installed Haney as a heavy favorite of -1000 with an over/under of 8.5 rounds.
Can Haney pick up a convincing win in the biggest fight of his career or will Linares pull the upset?
Let’s analyze the fight and find out!
It’s not a surprise that Haney comes into this fight as the heavy betting favorite. I’d take that a step further and say there’s a reason that many of boxing’s top lightweights aren’t rushing to get in the ring with him.
Haney is a technically sound fighter who prefers to outbox his opponents but can close the show if he sees an opportunity. In addition to being younger and quicker, he holds a slight reach advantage over Linares and it’s pretty clear he’s also the better boxer. Haney’s superior footwork and jab should allow him to control the distance over Linares and score points early in the fight while setting up power punches later.
For all of Haney’s talent and skill, it hasn’t come without criticism, most notably for not stopping his past two opponents in Alfredo Santiago and Yuriorkis Gamboa, both of whom were heavy underdogs. In fact, Haney has just two stoppages in his last four fights so we have to question his punching power in general.
If there’s a magic elixir for those criticisms it could be Linares, as all five of his losses have come by stoppage. Those losses include three early knockouts against Juan Carlos Salgado, Sergio Thompson and Pablo Cesar Cano. When you consider that he was expected to defeat all three, it’s tough to trust his chin against a superior talent in Haney.
Linares is no slouch however, as he does have the experience factor, having given former the No. 1 pound-for-pound champion Vasiliy Lomachenko problems and even dropped him in the sixth round of their 2018 title fight before eventually losing in a 10th-round stoppage.
With his last fight taking place 15 months ago, in February 2020 ring rust could be an issue. Linares still packs a punch — he’s dangerous if he can counter and get off first in exchanges.
Still, while many people see this fight as he is the first formidable opponent for Haney, this feels like a step up in class for Linares after a long layoff as well and you have to wonder if his previous two victories are just smoke in mirrors considering the level of competition. Prior two the last two fights, Linares lost two of the last three fights, both coming by knockout.
Haney vs. Linares Pick
This feels like a coming-out party for Devin Haney.
There’s no world in which Haney doesn’t win this fight comfortably against Linares, who knows his opponent needs a strong performance to build his profile as one of the best young, up-and-coming fighters in the sport.
Haney has all the advantages here. He’s the better boxer, he’s faster, he has the longer reach and he’ll show it here with an impressive performance. While I’m tempted to go with Haney with the late stoppage, I think the value lies with him winning by decision given his reluctance to put guys away.
In addition, Haney did have shoulder surgery in 2019 which kept him out of the ring for a while. I’ll take Haney by decision at +175.
The Pick: Devin Haney By Decision +175