Earlier this month, Eddie Hearn revealed that with twin mandatory challengers Ryan Garcia and Javier Fortuna on a potential collision course, WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney’s next defense could pit him against veteran Jorge Linares. Now, Mike Coppinger reports that the pair are “in talks” to meet on April 17th on DAZN.
The 35-year-old Linares (47-5, 29 KO) is 2-0 since an ill-advised move to junior welterweight got him walloped in one round by Pablo Cesar Cano, cruising past Al Toyogon before smashing Carlos Morales this past February. This was supposed to set up a big-money clash with the aforementioned Garcia, but when that fell through, he instead signed on to face Fortuna. Then COVID intervened.
All that misfortune aside, “El Niño de Oro” would be Haney’s (25-0, 15 KO) toughest foe by a considerable margin. “The Dream,” who blew up Zaur Abdullaev for the interim belt in 2019 and received an upgrade upon Vasiliy Lomachenko gaining “franchise” status, was last seen cruising past Yuriorkis Gamboa in November.
It ain’t the sort of intramural regicide attempt we want to see from Haney, Garcia, Teofimo Lopez, and Gervonta Davis, but it’s a damn good fight.