By Miguel Rivera
Three-time world champion Jorge Linares is very motivated to get back in the mix, after suffering a knockout loss at the hands of Vasiliy Lomachenko back in May at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Linares will return to the ring on September 29 when he faces Abner Cotto, who is the cousin of four division champion Miguel Cotto, at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
The contest will be the first step in Linares' journey in the junior welterweight division - where he's very focused on capturing another world title.
Linares received a lot of praise for his performance against Lomachenko, who faced stiff resistance in the fight and went down during the contest.
"First of all, I am very grateful for all the support the public gave me after the fight with Lomachenko," said Linares to ESPN Deportes.
"Now I'm going to take a new step, to new opportunities. We've worked with the idea of definitely going up to 140 pounds and doing it right, we're a week away from the fight and I hope to give a good show. In this sport you should never overlook anyone. Abner Cotto has two legs and two hands like me, so I prepared myself as if it were a world championship fight."
And Linares is still hoping to get a rematch with Lomachenko and a showdown with four division world champion Mikey Garcia, who held a title at 140 and is possibly going to 147 in the future.
"I have not stopped thinking about Lomachenko or Mikey, they are interesting fights. As I said, the only way to go down to 135 pounds is for Lomachenko, but if it's not him, then we will look for the big fights at 140 pounds. Regarding Mikey Garcia, let's see what happens because he was planning to go up to 147 pounds."