By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – Don’t set aside DVR space for that Mikey Garcia-Jorge Linares fight just yet.

Garcia (36-0, 30 KOs), the WBC world lightweight champion, and Linares (42-3, 27 KOs), who owns the WBA world lightweight title, have expressed serious interest in fighting each other this summer in an attractive lightweight title unification fight. But the winner of another lightweight championship match might wind up facing Garcia first.

Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza said it’s possible that the network would broadcast a fight that could pit Garcia against the winner of an April 8 bout between WBO world lightweight champion Terry Flanagan (32-0, 13 KOs) and optional challenger Petr Petrov (38-4-2, 19 KOs) in Manchester, England. Flanagan-Petrov will be televised by promoter Frank Warren’s new “Box Nation” channel in the United Kingdom, but it won’t be televised in the United States.

Showtime aired Linares’ relatively easy victory over England’s Anthony Crolla on March 24 from Manchester. Garcia served as a guest analyst for Showtime’s studio coverage of the Linares-Crolla rematch and said following Linares’ impressive victory that he would like to fight Linares next, perhaps in July.

“Mikey was obviously with us for the Linares-Crolla fight,” said Espinoza, Showtime Sports’ executive vice president and general manager. “He really wants to fight for another title. He’ll also be looking at next week’s fight, the Flanagan-Petrov fight. Those two guys [Linares and the Flanagan-Petrov winner] are probably the two preferred ones. Because he’s made it real clear that he wants a title fight [next]. So we’ll see where that [goes].

“Thankfully, Linares didn’t get cut. Hopefully he could turn around pretty quickly. We’ll see what happens with Flanagan-Petrov, if that’s a fight that those guys are interested in. But I think those are the two top opportunities for Mikey.”

England’s Flanagan recently told that, other than himself, he considers Garcia, of Oxnard, California, the best of boxing’s recognized 135-pound champions.

“He looked really good knocking out Dejan [Zlaticanin], but the Montenegrin was made for him,” Flanagan said. “I’d have done something similar. He was a very dominant super-feather champion and, despite his 30-month break, he’s come back better than ever. He’s brought his power up [to lightweight]. That was a brutal knockout [of Zlaticanin], and I believe he could take it up to light welter, too, if he chooses. He’s got a great jab, which tends to go unnoticed because of his power punching, and he’s also got a good boxing brain. His corner [his brother, Robert, and his dad, Eduardo] is also very strong.

“Mikey takes them all out, but I want to test myself against the best. Let’s see how good he is when you’re throwing back at him. I’m a good three inches taller and naturally bigger, so the general plan would be to keep cool, calm and collected, and use my southpaw skills and greater size to out-box him. But you can’t be too technical. There’ll be times when you’ll have to stand toe-to-toe and fight him. I’m confident I can cope with that. We’re both undefeated in well over 30 [fights], so it’s sure to be a hell of a battle.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.