By Miguel Rivera
Jorge Linares is entering the next stage of his training camp, for the upcoming defense against two-time Olympic gold medal winner Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs). Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) will defend his WBA lightweight title against the Ukrainian on May 12 (ESPN) at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The native of Barinas has another key moment in his career, after the two consecutive defeats six years ago when he was about to abandon boxing. Today, Lomachenko would be the toughest opponent he has ever faced.
"We went through difficult times in 2011 and 2012 when I lost those two fights against [Antonio] DeMarco and [Sergio] Thompson," Linares recalled to Jad El Reda. "I never imagined that I would get up and I would be as I am today, almost six years without losing. We work very hard, I think I work harder now than when I started our career as a professional. "
Many doubt that Linares has enough in his arsenal to defeat Lomachenko, who is considered by many as the best pound for pound boxer in the world today.
The 30-year-old is coming up from the super featherweight division to face Linares.
"After those defeats I had to make changes, I adjusted to [trainer] Ismael Salas," he said. "We started making changes in my technique, in my punch and we started to see very good results that we have maintained up to now. I changed my physical trainer, my food and so we were getting the results."
Linares' record of 13 undefeated fights is at risk, especially since he will not have his coach, Salas, in his corner.
The Venezuelan wanted to make it clear that the rumors about a possible separation are not true and that he is not worried about the absence of his coach because he has already fought without his presence.
"I did not leave him, he did not leave me," clarified Linares.
"We have the same friendship. He has not been in my corner for three fights since we've been together and it's been the same result, I won. A lot of people are worried that he will not be involved in this big fight. All of the fights have been important for me, whether or not it's Lomachenko, the important thing is to be victorious and know how to make a good preparation."
Salas is currently in London training one of his other fighters, former heavyweight champion David Haye, who will face Tony Bellew in a rematch on May 5 at the O2 Arena in that city. Linares explained that Salas decided to stay with Haye because at the time the Venezuelan had not yet signed the fight against Lomachenko.