Devin Haney survived a late scare against Jorge Linares in Las Vegas on Saturday night to successfully defend his WBC lightweight title, and ‘The Dream’ immediately turned his attention to WBA, WBO and IBF lightweight champion, Teofimo Lopez.
The 22-year-old controlled the majority of the bout claiming 116-112, 116-112, 115-113 on the judges' scorecards to win via unanimous decision but Linares, a former three division champion himself, reminded everyone that even at 35 he is still a major threat to anyone at 135lbs, rocking Haney with a combination right on the bell in the tenth before mounting a late surge in rounds eleven and twelve.
"This is boxing. You're going to get hit with big shots," Haney told DAZN. "But it's about continuing to box smart."
Despite the late scare that left him hanging on against the wily veteran from Venezuela, Haney, who is now undefeated in 26 bouts as a professional, put on something of a boxing masterclass for large spells and in the toughest test of his career to date, the American passed with flying colours, showing the boxing world just why the youngster is so highly-rated.
He finds himself in good company at lightweight though, a division that is jam packed with outstanding talent from the aforementioned Lopez to Ryan Garcia, both of whom have been linked with lucrative showdowns with Haney in the future but it sounds like it’s ‘the Takeover’ who is in his crosshairs right now.
"If Teofimo Lopez is next, let's do it," 22-year-old Haney added.
"If Teofimo wants to get it next, let's do it for all the belts — the real undisputed."
Lopez, who has been trading a war of words with Haney for some time now, will defend his own titles against George Kambosos Jr in Miami on June 19.
Elsewhere on the card, Northampton’s Chantelle Cameron successfully defended her WBC super-lightweight title with a fifth round stoppage of Melissa Hernandez. The timing of the stoppage might have raised a few eyebrows, with Hernandez still fighting back and looking in any real danger, but there’ll be no questions over her performance with the 30-year-old dominating from start to finish to move her professional record up to 14-0 (8).
In a tight middleweight match-up, Ireland’s Jason Quigley earned a majority decision over Shane Mosely Jr, son of three-weight champion ‘Sugar’, in a fight that could have gone either way. Quigley had done just enough to edge Mosley on the official judges’ scorecards, with scores of 95-95, 97-93, 96-94.