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SPORTS SHORTS 118: JORGE LINARES BELIEVES MANNY PACQUIAO IS THE TOUGHEST SPARRING PARTNER HE EVER FACED, FIGHTS DEVIN HANEY ON MAY 29


PhilBoxing.com




Jorge Linares thinks that Gervonta Davis is the "most dangerous lightweight", but is convinced that Manny Pacquiao is the toughest fighter he has ever faced in sparring session.

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Linares is scheduled to fight WBC champion Devin Haney on May 29 at the Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A. Linares named "Tank" Davis as the most talented fighter in the lightweight division, though believed he may not come back down from the super lightweight division.

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Davis is the current WBA (Regular) lightweight champion and the WBA (Super) super featherweight champion. Previously he held the IBF super featherweight title and the WBA (Super) super featherweight title.

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Davis will clash with Mario Barrios, age 25 years of San Antonio, Texas, for the WBA super lightweight title on June 26 at Atlanta, Georgia, and if he wins he may remain at that division.

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Speaking to the DAZN Boxing Show, Linares said: “For me the most dangerous lightweight is Davis, but he’s fighting at 140 and I don't know if he wants to come back."

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“Another good boxer is Teofimo Lopez, he’s very strong. He has another big fight in Miami soon. He has that hunger to be champion, to do unification. I want to see that fight. You never know.”

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He also told Ak & Barak that the most challenging fighter he has faced in training is Filipino boxing legend and incumbent senator Manny Pacquiao.

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When asked why he said, “Manny Pacquiao, he’s very fast, very complicated, very strong.”

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Probably he is not the opponent Devin Haney wanted for his first fight in 2021, but Linares will be the toughest test for Haney as he looks to defend the WBC lightweight title for the third time.

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Haney (25-0, 18 KOs) successfully defended his WBC lightweight title with convincing decision wins over Alfredo Santiago in November 2019 and Yuriorkis Gamboa in November 2020.

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The fight may not be against the other lightweight champions Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis or Teofimo Lopez, but "The Dream" believes that Linares is so far the biggest name on his professional record.

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“I’m very excited to be making my third world title defense against a great fighter like Jorge Linares, who will be the best fighter I will have ever faced in my career,” said Haney. “He’s a three-division world champion who has fought at the championship level for the past thirteen years."

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Haney said he grew up watching Linares and that their fight happening in Las Vegas is incredible. "Boxing fans around the world are eager to see me step up in competition which is great, and I know Linares is coming to fight."

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Haney continued that he is ready to give the fans a spectacular performance. "The better competition brings the best out of me. Against Linares, I’m going to show the world why I’m the king of the lightweight division.”

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Jorge Linares has held world championships in three weight classes, including the WBC featherweight title, the WBA super featherweight title, and the WBA, WBC and Ring magazine lightweight titles.

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Linares, age 35 years of Barinas, Venezuela is an
orthodox fighter with 47 wins, 29 by KO, and 5 losses.

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Devin Haney is the WBC lightweight champion since 2019. He is ranked as the world's No. 3 lightweight by The Ring, No. 4 by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and No. 5 by BoxRec.

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"The Dream" Haney, age 22 years of San Francisco, California, is an orthodox fighter with 25 wins in as many fights, 15 by KO.

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Manny Pacquiao remains optimistic on his next fight based his latest social media post as he remembered his past feats.

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His Twitter post reads: “Twenty years ago, all I wanted was a chance – a chance to prove myself on a big stage and make my dreams come true. Always prepare hard so that when the opportunity comes, you are ready!”

* * *

On June 23, 2001, Pacquiao made his U.S. debut at the MGM Grand scoring an upset knockout victory over Lehlo Ledwaba to win the IBF junior featherweight title on the Oscar De La Hoya-Javier Castillejo undercard.

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The reckless Ledwaba crashed to the canvas once in the second and twice more in the sixth, prompting referee Joe Cortez to stop the fight with Ledwaba lying on his back and the crowd standing on their feet unbelievably seeing a boxing star was born in Las Vegas.

* * *

The Utah Jazz have a clinched playoff berth and had the league's best record at 45-17. They led the Phoenix Suns with just one game as the Suns have already reached the preseason tiebreaker. Phoenix and Utah will collide Friday night.

* * *

The Los Angeles Lakers at No. 6 are in danger of getting into the play-in tournament. They hold only a two-loss lead over the No. 7 Portland Trail Blazers and a one-loss lead over the No. 6 Dallas Mavericks.

* * *

The Lakers-Blazers season series is tied 1-1 and they have one game remaining next Friday, which will serve as their tiebreaker. At No. 6, are the Mavericks who has the tiebreaker advantage over the Lakers.

* * *

Anthony Joshua of Great Britain won the 2012 London Olympic gold medal in the super heavyweight class. He became professional world champion winning the IBF heavyweight title in 2016.

* * *

Slobodan Kačar of Serbia/Yugoslavia won the 1980 Moscow Olympic gold medal in the light heavyweight class. He became professional world champion winning the IBF light heavyweight title in 1985-1986.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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