WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares (42-3, 27 KOs) would love to unify with WBC champion Mikey Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs) - but Linares doubts the fight will come together in the near future.
Garcia will return this coming Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. He moves up to the junior welterweight limit for a Showtime televised showdown with four division world champion Adrien Broner (33-2, 24 KOs).
Linares recently retained his title with a dominating decision win over Anthony Crolla. The WBA ordered him to make a mandatory defense against Olympic gold medal winner Luke Campbell.
Garcia has been pretty vocal about fighting Broner and then returning to the lightweight division - where he says his main target is Linares.
But Linares expects Garcia to remain at junior welterweight. Linares says there is a possibility that he will move up in weight himself, but not until sometime in 2018.
"If Garcia wants to fight me, I will fight him, but I don't think he will come back down to 135-pounds. He has had problems with the weight and he looks like a super lightweight now - the best weight for him. For me, lightweight is good and I need a big opportunity and maybe next year I will move up to 140-pounds," Linares told Sky Sports.
As far as this coming Saturday night, Linares is backing Garcia to come through with a win. Garcia is a big 5-1 favorite with the bookies.
"I don't know what will happen this Saturday but I think Garcia will win. I want Mikey Garcia to win. He has hunger right now. He had almost two years out of boxing and every time I've seen him fight, he has looked better and stronger. I saw his last fight and it was easy - he is a different level. He's a good guy, a good person and a very good talent," Linares said.