By Ryan Burton
WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares (43-3) held a public workout last Friday at City Athletic Boxing in Las Vegas as he made his final preparations for his January 27th HBO headlining showdown against Mercito Gesto (31-1-2). The fight takes place at The Forum in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood.
The 32-year-old Linares worked under the guidance of his long time trainer Ismael Salas. He said that this was one of the best training camps of his long career.
"I trained for six weeks here in Las Vegas and before that I trained for five weeks in Japan so it was a little bit different and it was a long camp. It was really amazing. My gym is my second home. I feel really good and plan on putting on a great show," Linares told BoxingScene.com.
Linares’ name has been linked to WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko and WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia. Both potential matchups would qualify as the high profile type of fight that Linares has been calling for the past few years.
While Linares has been very vocal about securing a big fight, he insists that he is focused on the task at hand. He knows that a loss would derail his plans and be a serious setback at this stage in his career.
Linares remembers when he was a young fighter trying to get to the next level and expects Gesta to bring his ‘A’ game when they meet in the ring on Saturday.
"There are a lot of talented fighters, a lot of young fighters out there. They want to knock my head off and get my position but I feel good. I am healthy and motivated to keep my title. Mercito Gesta has my respect and worked hard to get this opportunity. He is a good boxer - a Filipino southpaw and I believe that we will put on a great fight. The most important thing is that all of the Latinos enjoy the fight and my people in Japan. I think it will be a really interesting fight," Said Linares.
Send questions or comments to [email protected] You can follow Ryan on Twitter @ringsidewriter