Devin Haney survived a late flurry from veteran Jorge Linares to successfully defend his WBC lightweight title, winning by unanimous decision Saturday in Las Vegas.
The 22-year-old Californian had little trouble through the first nine rounds against the former three-division world champion before Linares did some damage late.
A hard right in the 10th round left Haney (26-0) wobbly and the effects appeared to carry over into the 11th as Linares (47-6) tried in vain to win it with one punch.
Haney was able to hold on through 12 rounds, though, winning 116-112 on two judges' scorecards and 115-113 on the other.
It was the first time in 53 career fights that Linares lost a decision, the 35-year-old Venezuelan's previous defeats all coming by knockout.
Haney's win could set up a unification showdown with Teofimo Lopez, should the 16-0 IBF, WBO, WBA and The Ring lightweight champion defeat George Kambosos Jr. next month.
"I want to make the biggest fights happen," Haney told DAZN after the fight. "If Teofimo Lopez is next, let's do it."
On Saturday's undercard, Chantelle Cameron defended her WBC light-welterweight strap with a fifth-round TKO of former world champion Melissa Hernandez.