Devin Haney gets hard-won victory over Jorge Linares
SAN DIEGO, Calif., May 29, 2021 – WBC World Lightweight champion Devin “The Dream” Haney of Las Vegas (26-0, 15 KOs) had to suck it up in a match of wits and will, pushed to the limit by veteran Jorge Linares of Venezuela (47-6, 29 KOs) Saturday in front of 5,312 happy fans at the Mandalay Bay Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas.
Haney earned a hard-won victory over Linares by decision. Scorecards read 116-112 X 3 and 115-113.
Even though he got singed by his trial by fire, the 22-year-old Haney needed the challenge Linares gave him to prove doubters wrong about his long-term prospects and competitive drive. At age 37, Linares was in superb condition physically and mentally, making Haney fight a toe-to-toe battle. His chin held up to Haney’s best power shots, and he showed he still has enough power to put a hurt on his opponents. It was the recipe for a thoroughly enjoyable main event.
Linares hurt Haney several times, especially in the championship rounds. The Venezuelan’s left hook did damage when he could land it, wobbling Haney in the 11th round so severely it seemed for a moment he might produce a miracle ending.
Haney held when he needed to, fought back when he needed to, delivered more offense overall, and got the win. He can take even more satisfaction in digging deep and showing he isn’t afraid to face the fire. Haney hears the criticism about his skills and his will. Saturday’s fight was his answer.
Haney owes Linares his appreciation for providing the perfect dance partner, willing to throw caution to the wind and trust his speed, power, and ring IQ. Linares also extended his career opportunities despite the loss. He showed an impressive chin, and no one can deny the entertainment value of the fight. He performs best at 135 pounds as long as he can make the weight.
Haney will now watch the upcoming bout between undisputed division champion Teofimo Lopez Jr. and mandatory challenger George Kambosos Jr. on June 19. He is likely to fight the winner. Lopez Jr. has repeatedly taunted Haney as the “email champion.” Haney would love nothing better than the chance to shut Lopez Jr. up.
Chantelle Cameron puts herself on the road to Katie Taylor with TKO win
Chantelle Cameron (14-0, 8 KOs) of Great Britain sent Melissa Hernandez of Puerto Rico (23-8-3, 7 KOs) back into retirement with an impressive offensive display to retain her WBC World Super Lightweight title. Cameron stopped the determined Hernandez when referee Celestino Ruiz intervened after the champion scored a hard right hand to Hernandez’s head at 1:38 of round five. Hernandez wasn’t knocked down and showed her dismay with the outcome. But Cameron had the fight well in hand, including a fourth-round knockdown against the ropes. There was little chance of Hernandez doing anything to fight her way back.
Cameron showed why she’s at the top of the division with power to spare and an entertaining style. Hernandez clowned Cameron during fight week, but she wasn’t smiling as Cameron delivered a drubbing. The champion’s height and reach advantage made it difficult to Hernandez to offer much resistance. Cameron is on her way to a future showdown with women’s pound for pound number one Katie Taylor of Ireland.
Picture it: Jason Quigley rebounds with win over Shane Mosley Jr.
Ireland’s Jason Quigley (19-1, 14 KOs) resurrected his career, relying on a new training approach and rebounding from a loss with a superb performance against Shane Mosley Jr. (17-4, 10 KOs). Quigley took the win by majority decision, with scores of 97-93, 96-94, and 95-95.
“I’ve been through so much to even get to Vegas,” said Quigley. I want to give massive credit for Shane Mosley Jr. What a fight. I know every fighter goes through it, but I have been through a hell of a lot.”
Mosley Jr. started crisply in the early rounds. Quigley started showing damage to the left eye, on top of a black eye suffered in sparring. It wasn’t looking good. Sensing his opportunity slipping, Quigley stepped up the offense, scoring with hard right hands in the seventh. Fans in Las Vegas egged the middleweights on, wanting to see the firefight. Mosley Jr. stayed composed, but Quigley pressed the action, rolling up rounds on the scorecards. Both men ended a commendable effort on their feet, with the outcome in doubt until the scorecards were read.
“I knew it could have went any way. When I heard the draw, I thought it was going to be a draw. Nobody knows what goes into training camp, nobody knows what we go through and put in to get here into the ring.” Quigley said it included adding the use of affirmations, yoga, and visualizations to his training regime. “I visualized this moment. Visualizing it has been a massive positive influence in this camp. This positive stuff is no joke. It’s real. It really does mean something,” said Quigley. Quigley now has a minor WBO middleweight belt and said he’d like to tangle with Demetrius Andrade next. Sign us up for that.
Fuzile wins upset over Ward
Azinga Fuzile of South Africa (15-1, 9 KOs) came back from his first loss with something to prove. He scored a TKO win over Britain’s Martin J. Ward (24-2-2 11 KOs) for a seventh-round TKO win in their IBF super featherweight title elimination fight. Ward pressed Fuzile into an action fight after a few tactical rounds. He more than met the challenge, trading shots until he caught Ward with a southpaw’s right check hook for the stoppage. Ward suffered a leg injury as the southpaw Fuzile planted his feet to establish position, although he continued to fight until the referee stopped the bout. “We’re impressed as a team,” said Fuzile of his first fight in the U.S.
Khalil Coe of New Jersey (1-0, 2 KO) won his professional debut with an impressive, posed performance, dropping opponent Nathaniel Tadd of Houston (2-5, 1 KO) three times with thunderous body punches. Referee Russell Mora stopped the fight at 1:10 of the second round after the third one. Coe landed 22 body shots out of his 36 power punches. “I executed the game plan,” said Coe. “We’re steppin’, we’re here,” said the decorated amateur known as “Big Stepper.”
Welterweight prospect Reshat “Albanian Bear” Mati of Staten Island (10-0, 7 KOs) won his fight against Ryan Pino of Puerto Rico (8-7-2, 4 KOs) by decision. Scores were 60-54 and 58-56 X 2. Mati got a little too involved in entertaining the crowd with his trash-talking antics instead of focusing on taking care of business against Pino.
Somalia native Ramla Ali (3-0) showed off her hand speed and footwork, winning her six-round bout against local Las Vegas pro Mikayla Nebel (4-9, 1 KO) with a shutout on all three scorecards, 60-54. Keep your eye on this emerging star. “I’m happy with how I did, considering I’m so far away from home. I can’t believe I’m here so early in my career,” said Ali.
Amari Jones of Las Vegas (2-0, 2 KOs) made quick work of his second pro fight, sending Jonathan Ryan Burrs (3-4) to the showers with a hard right hand to the temple. Burrs beat the count, but referee Mike Ortega called it done at 2:56 of the first round.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal is an award-winning sportswriter and a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on social media: @PRProSanDiego.
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