What’s Next for Jorge Linares?

Jorge Linares

A couple of weeks ago on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California, Jorge Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) opened HBO’s Boxing After Dark double main event with a one-sided unanimous decision victory over Mercito Gesta (31-2-2, 17 KOs).

Two judges scored the bout 118-110 and the third scored it 117-111–this was Linares’ 13th straight win. With this victory over Gesta, Linares retained his WBA and RING Lightweight titles.

Linares hasn’t been shy in expressing that he is done naming fighters he wants next. “Like I said to Oscar De La Hoya, I don’t want to mention names for my next opponent,” said Linares. “You know what’s nice? That people mention my name. That’s fine that they mention my name, but let’s get them in the ring. Let them get in the ring with me.”

Potential title unification bouts were looming before Saturday nights fight and with yet another impressive victory, Linares has proved once again that he extremely dangerous in the Lightweight and surrounding divisions.

Who should Jorge “El Nino de Oro”  Linares face next?

There is talk of two exciting possibilities for Linares in the near future–Linares vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko and Linares vs. Mikey Garcia.

Both of these fights would be great for Linares and his legacy. Though Linares’ record speaks for itself, he does lack big names on his resume.

Linares vs. Lomachenko

Linares vs. Lomachenko

According to an article by ESPN staff writer, Dan Rafael, talk has begun on a title fight between Lightweight world champion, Jorge Linares and pound-for-pound Junior Lightweight world champ, Vasiliy Lomachenko. Though Lomachenko would be moving up to the Lightweight division this would still be a very challenging fight for Linares and would be a huge jump in competition for the Venezuelan fighter.

Lomachenko, with only 11 fights, has stopped eight of his opponents in superb fashion–he has speed and power like very few fighters. With Lomachenko moving up a division, it would be an exciting matchup and likely more of a competitive fight than Lomachenko has seen to date.

“It would be a very good fight. I think we have very similar styles, and thinking about the Rigondeaux fight, I honestly stopped watching it. But I looked at Rigondeaux and said, ‘He’s fast like me.’ Even though I haven’t been in the Olympics, I feel I have the right style to give Lomachenko a very good fight,” said Linares (per Bad Left Hook). 

Linares vs. Garcia

Before the Gesta fight, Linares explained what his ideal plan would be for his next couple of fights. “If Mikey could make 135 pounds, I’d love to fight him at 135, but I have no problem fighting him at 140 pounds. I’d like to fight three times this year. My ideal plan, and it would be the highest of the high, would be to fight Lomachenko this year, and then go into a fight with Mikey Garcia in 2019,” said Linares (per Bad Left Hook).

Linares vs. Garcia would also be an extremely competitive fight. The styles of these two fighters would make for an exciting and likely all-out brawl. Regardless of what weight this fight takes place, I see Linares having more luck against the unbeaten Garcia than Lomachenko.

Linares is ready to face the stiffest of competition in two of the current best fighters in the game–he is ready to step up and prove he has what it takes to beat the best of the best. Boxing fans are in for a treat if either of these two fights materialize.  


Header photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions

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