At the age of just 22, Devin Haney has already gone far in his boxing career. He is a lightweight champion, gained experience fighting in Mexico during his teenage years, and is starting to be talked about as a possible future unifying weight champion.

Saturday’s fight against veteran Jorge Linares is expected to be an easy win for the young American – and there’s no doubting that fans are desperate to see him face bigger and better opponents.

But let’s not leap too far too soon. Haney may be unbeaten from 25 fights since turning professional at the age of just 17 but he still has a lot to learn. The likes of Vasyl Lomachenko, Teofimo Lopez, and Ryan Garcia will come soon enough – all Haney has to do for now is keep his head down and lengthen that unbeaten streak.

Boxing betting fans have been backing Haney for greatness ever since he won the WBC lightweight title against Zaur Abdullaev in New York two years ago. On Saturday he faces Linares, who has lost two of his last five fights and who hasn’t held a world title for almost three years.

Haney is the overwhelming favorite at -800 to win this contest but that doesn’t mean it will be an easy weekend in Paradise, Nevada.

Haney vs Linares Stats

Career record Devin Haney Jorge Linares
Nationality American Venezuelan
Age 22 (November 17, 1998) 35 (August 22, 1985)
Reach 71 inches 69.5 inches
Record 25-0-0 47-0-5
Last fight Beat Yuriorkis Gamboa (UD, 12 rounds), November 2020 Beat Carlos Morales (KO, 4th round), February 2020

The Haney stats speak for themselves. Having started fighting in Mexico at the age of just 17, the Californian has already earned 25 pro wins without losing a single encounter. That’s one win more than heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua, who is nine years older than Haney.

Linares, meanwhile, has experience on his side, even if physically he is only slightly disadvantaged in reach compared to his opponent. Will age sap the energy from the Venezuelan, or experience earn him a shock win?

Is Haney Hype Worth Backing?

Not short of a boxer’s usual bravado, Haney has said in the lead-up to this contest that he is “the best fighter on the planet”. While we’ve heard that sort of talk before, there’s no doubt the 22-year-old is in a good place heading into this contest.

“My skills are on another level and I will make the necessary adjustments, wear him down and completely dominate this fight,” he said.

devin haney celebrates with belt after wbc interim world lightweight championship

Devin Haney after a WBC interim world lightweight championship boxing match against Russia’s Zaur Abdullaev. (Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II)

“Linares is a great fighter that has a lot left in the tank. He has held multiple world championships in three weight classes and he’s by far the biggest step up in my career.”

So, considering Haney himself admits Linares is his toughest fight to date, the question must be asked: why are his odds so narrow? A $2 bet on Haney to win this weekend will generate 25¢ profit. According to the odds, he has an 88.9% likelihood of winning this fight.

There’s no doubting the Devin Haney record books but is he bluffing when he says Linares is his biggest challenge yet, in order to generate hype? Or does he really mean it? In which case, there’s no limit to how far this guy could go!

Linares Quotes

Many boxing betting fans will gravitate towards backing Linares. After all, at his price of +600 in the boxing odds, it’s not a terrible wager. His age is being questioned ahead of the fight, which will be his first step into a ring since February last year.

But Linares is determined to prove his doubters wrong and then push on to unification bouts elsewhere in the division.

“People say Jorge Linares is old, he’s retiring, he lose five times but they don’t recognize that I was world champion four times,” he said. “There’s a lot of good boxers in lightweight but I’m ready. The most important thing is to win this fight and think about the next one.”

Haney vs Linares Betting Latest

Both boxers are talking a good fight heading into this contest and many pundits believe it will be closer than the boxing betting odds suggest. However, Haney is used to being the overwhelming favorite. He was priced at -1000 to beat Yuriorkis Gamboa last November and -5000 to defeat Alfredo Santiago.

Yet such narrow bets hold little value for bettors compared to risk. Therefore prop bets are where punters can make their profits in this fight.

Haney has gone the distance in four of his last six fights, which includes both of his WBC lightweight title defenses. Linares, meanwhile, has reached the points in just one of his last five encounters. Twice he has been sparked and twice KO’ed his opponent in early rounds. The suggestion is, therefore, that this fight will either last no more than four rounds or go all 12.

If you’re seeking a Linares prop bet then a freak, early sucker-punch appears the only real chance of the Venezuelan winning this contest. Otherwise, the smartest bet is Haney on the judges’ scorecards.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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