Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum, who promotes WBO super featherweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs), is still hoping to make a fight between his fighter and WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares.
The biggest issue in getting the fight done is the target date,
Lomachenko will make his debut in the lightweight division on May 12, in an ESPN televised headliner, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Golden Boy Promotions, who promote Linares, have their own plans on May 12th - on HBO.
Arum's company parted ways with HBO in 2017, and signed an exclusive content deal with ESPN.
On May 12, HBO will be televising the pay-per-view replay of the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin rematch, which is Golden Boy's biggest event of the year.
Golden Boy is obviously not interested in hurting the ratings of the Canelo-GGG rematch by sending off Linares to face Lomachenko on ESPN.
They have no problem with making a deal with Arum - as long as the fight takes place on a date other than May 12.
There is another option. HBO is also offering to outbid ESPN - and bring that fight to their airwaves and pair it with the Canelo-GGG rematch on May 12.
But Arum is holding firm, stating that Lomachenko will fight on May 12 as planned, on ESPN - with or without Linares.
If Arum is unable to secure Linares, then he is likely going with the in-house option of newly crowned WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltran, who captured the vacant belt earlier this month with a decision over Paulus Moses.
Arum has not completely given up on getting Linares. He is currently trying to work something out that will satisfy both sides.
"Where there's a will, there's a way. When sensible people try to find a solution, they'll find a solution," Arum said to The Los Angeles Times. "We're on our way to finding a solution. People are working behind the scenes to make it happen, and it's a win-win for everybody."