By Steve Kim
This past weekend, Jorge Linares successfully defended his WBA lightweight title by out-pointing Mercito Gesta at the Forum in Inglewood, California. There are now rumblings of a showdown against two-time champion, Vasyl Lomachenko, who will be moving up to the lightweight division.
After Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) won his fight, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Oscar De La Hoya called on Lomachenko's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, to call him to begin negotiations.
"We're ready, we are ready. Lomachenko vs. Linares is the fight to make, so we must make it. For 2018, our goal is to always make the best fights and that's actually one of them - out of many, so Bob Arum - give me call," De La Hoya said.
So are there negotiations taking place between Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank?
"The answer is talks haven't started because we have to make sure that Linares - he had a little cut and he hurt his (right) hand a little bit - is 100 percent. It looks like now he'll be 100-percent. It's silly to start talks if we're too optimistic with the physical problems," said Arum to BoxingScene.com.
Linares is co-promoted by Golden Boy and Teiken Promotions of Japan. Teiken have a very close relationship with Top Rank and co-promote Olympic gold medal winner Ryota Murata.
"The Japanese don't think it's going to be a problem and once we get a report back at the end of the day, I'm going to be talking to the co-promoter, he's the senior promoter, (Akihiko) Honda, he's the one who mentioned Linares to us first. And we'll talk with him and then by all means we will contact Golden Boy," said the veteran promoter on Monday.
As for the possible dates, Arum stated - "It would be either April 28th or May 12th. Probably to be sure (of Linares' physical condition), it will be May 12th."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com