By Miguel Rivera
Jorge Linares recognizes that Vasyl Lomachenko as a great amateur fighter, but as a professional he believes the two-time Olympic champion is continuing to learn.
And precisely because of that, his fight this Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York will become very intense as the rounds advance.
Linares, who is promoted by Golden Boy Promotions, will defend the lightweight championship of the World Boxing Association against Lomachenko, who is looking for his third divisional championship.
At the conference, promoter Bob Arum highlighted the number of challenges that Lomachenko has taken, whom he promotes since he invaded professionalism, and acknowledged that without this kind of fighting, Vasyl's career would not have the sense that they have given him to get him this new task.
"He (Lomachenko) is an elite fighter, and an elite amateur fighter, but as a professional he continues to learn," Linares said. "I think, and believe me when I say this, the fight will become more intense as the rounds advance.
"I've been working hard for the last few fights preparing for this fight. I knew Lomachenko wanted it. I wanted it. So I was very confident that Golden Boy, Teiken and Top Rank were going to get it done."
"The last two opponents I faced were southpaws. Purposely. I was preparing psychologically and physically to fight Vasiliy Lomachenko. I've had him on my radar."
Lomachenko has a lot of respect for Linares and expects one of the toughest fights of his pro career.
"I want to thank Linares for taking this challenge. Saturday night, it's going to be a good bout, and we're going to find out who is the best," Lomachenko said.
"The way this bout is going to go... who knows? It's boxing. It's going to be a fight, and after that, we're going to see."