This past Saturday night at The Forum in Los Angeles, California - Jorge "El Nino de Oro" Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) successfully defended his WBA lightweight world championship with a dominating twelve round unanimous decision over Mercito "No Mercy" Gesta (31-2-2, 17 KOs).
After two awkward rounds, Linares figured out his opponent and outboxed Gesta the entire way.
The final scores were 118-110, 118-110 and 117-111.
After the fight, Linares called for fights with two boxers in particular - WBC lightweight title Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) and WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs).
Linares, who holds the WBC Diamond title, is the mandatory challenger to Garcia's belt.
Garcia last fought in the junior welterweight division when he dominated four division champion Adrien Broner last July. And now Garcia takes part in another junior welterweight contest, when he challenges Sergey Lipinets for the IBF championship on March 10.
After his fight with Lipinets, there will be a limited amount of time for Garcia to make a decision on whether or not he intends to remain at 140 or plans to return to 135 for his mandatory fight with Linares.
Lomachenko, looking for his third world title, is moving up to the lightweight division on a date in April.
Last week, Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com's Steve Kim that he's very willing to make a Lomachenko vs. Linares contest.
"I think Linares is a tremendous fighter. He has a great resume, he's a lightweight champion that has had a number of defenses," Arum told BoxingScene.com.
"Lomachenko has been tremendous at 126, 130 and now he's going up to 135 and hopefully from my standpoint he's as brilliant at 135 as he was in the lower weight classes. But who really knows until we see him?"
Linares' promoter, Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions, is waiting by the phone and ready to make the fight.
"We're ready, we are ready. Lomachenko vs. Linares is the fight to make, so we must make it. For 2018, our goal is to always make the best fights and that's actually one of them - out of many, so Bob Arum - give me call," De La Hoya said.
The biggest hurdle in making that fight - TV alliances.
Arum's company has an exclusive deal with ESPN, while De La Hoya's top names are exclusively fighting on HBO.