The only man to have shared the ring with both Devin Haney and Vasyl Lomachenko has strong feelings about their upcoming fight.
Haney will put all four of his lightweight titles on the line when he takes on ‘Hi-Tech’ at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Back in October, former three-weight world champion Jorge Linares was asked for his opinion on the fight and explained why he was backing the champion to defend his belts.
“Lomachenko is Lomachenko but he’s not the same,” he said during an interview with BoxingScene last October.
“I respect both. I’m very good friends with both Lomachenko and Haney too. If that fight happens, it’s 60/40. For me, Haney has the best time right now. He’s quick, he’s fast, he has power. He moves so well in the ring.”
After watching Gervonta Davis stop Ryan Garcia with a brutal body shot last month, he was again asked for his thoughts on the fight and continued to back the younger man.
“For me, this time it’ll be [Devin] Haney. By decision. I think so,” Linares told Fight Hub.
Linares is arguably better placed than anyone to give an opinion on the fight after squaring off with both men over the past five years.
In May 2018, Lomachenko moved up a division to test himself against the WBA lightweight champion who had previously impressed with wins over British fighters Kevin Mitchell, Anthony Crolla, and Luke Campbell.
The Ukranian didn’t have things all his own way and had to survive his only career knockdown in round six before picking up a tenth-round TKO win over Linares.
After bouncing back with two wins from his next three fights, Linares found himself in title contention and he squared off against Haney for the WBC lightweight belt in May 2021.
The now-24-year-old controlled large portions of the fight but was badly rocked when Linares caught him with a two-punch combination at the end of round ten.
Haney wobbled back to his corner but managed to survive the next six minutes by tying up the Venezuelan who ultimately dropped to a unanimous decision defeat.
While Haney has gone on to cement himself as the best lightweight in boxing since then, Linares has looked way past his prime in successive defeats.
The 37-year-old appears to be on the brink of retirement after getting knocked out by Zaur Abdullaev and losing a decision to unheralded 13-3-2 Armenian boxer Zhora Hamazaryan.