For 9 rounds, Devin Haney showcased his phenomenal technical prowess towards artful veteran Jorge Linares and appeared destined to one more profitable, however not essentially spectacular, victory. Nevertheless, a brief proper hand to shut out the tenth spherical damage Haney and the followers in attendance on the Michelob ULTRA Enviornment in Las Vegas shifted their assist away from the 22-year-old fighter.
For the primary time, Haney needed to cope with one thing that he hadn’t confronted throughout his 25-fight profession: adversity. Not solely from his opponent, however from the followers in attendance that jeered him as he intelligently held Linares whereas he shook the cobwebs from the earlier spherical.
Regardless of the temporary stint of adversity, Haney went on to win a unanimous determination and retain his WBC light-weight title. Whereas some could have criticized his efficiency and lack of ability to place away an opponent that had solely misplaced by knockout up till that time, Haney earned priceless expertise essential for a fighter of his caliber to take the subsequent step in his profession.
Followers could not have been handled to a spectacular knockout from the younger fighter who calls Las Vegas his dwelling, however what Haney gained in that brief sequence from being damage, taking directions from his nook whereas being buzzed and making use of them within the following spherical are what separates champions from challengers.
These are the moments that younger undefeated fighters want of their profession to determine whether or not or not they’ve the mettle to achieve success within the long-term. It’s straightforward to rollover a sequence of opponents. But it surely’s not till a fighters will get punched within the mouth one good time and compelled to react that we all know whether or not or not they will be right here long run or only a flash within the pan.
It’s a baptism by fireplace. Some survive, many don’t.
Ryan Garcia not too long ago had his second when he was dropped by Luke Campbell within the second spherical of their January showdown that we realized that he was manufactured from sterner stuff. The 22-year-old peeled himself off the canvas, rebounded and stopped Campbell with a brutal physique shot within the seventh spherical to move his hardest check. Haney could not have hit the canvas, however his wobbly stroll again to his nook informed a narrative that will both finish along with his survival or a embarrassing collapse. With coach Ben Davison in his ear, Haney flashed the smile that prompt that he was damage however didn’t need to present it whereas digesting the instructions from his cornermen.
He utilized them, survived the ultimate six minutes and lived to combat one other day.
Historical past tells us that not all fighters are capable of survive these moments and it’s one thing that haunts them for the remainder of their profession. Mike Tyson was clueless when Buster Douglass dropped him within the tenth spherical of their notorious 1990 conflict. To that time, he torched the opposition and barely confronted something remotely near adversity. By the point he tasted the canvas, he had no clue easy methods to stand up and the veil of invincibility was shattered.
Juan Manuel Lopez, Amir Khan, Victor Ortiz, Tommy Morrison, Zab Judah, Jeff Lacy and even Linares are just some boxers who had been considered the subsequent huge factor however crumbled when the going received powerful. For Haney to attain the subsequent stage of greatness, he wanted to learn how he’d react when he was damage in a combat.
Haney didn’t crumble. The truth is, Haney grew to become a sponge following the combat and went so far as to query Linares about his boxing prowess. Reasonably than placing his ego on show, Haney humbly inquired about easy methods to enhance and accepted the criticism of his work off the jab from his opponent.
As Haney strikes on to larger and higher fights that would doubtlessly embody Garcia, unified champion Teofimo Lopez and Gervonta Davis, this priceless lesson will go additional than pleasing the followers with a rout. He wanted the adversity to be taught extra about himself. These teachable moments towards seasoned veterans actually aren’t over however the reality he handed his first one proves that Haney is far more than a younger star who will fizzle when pressured.
And stress both busts pipes or makes diamonds. To this point, Haney seems effectively on his method to changing into a diamond.