Jorge Linares won a tough fight against Luke Campbell in front of 4,125 at The Forum, Inglewood just over a week ago. The Venezuelan was able to win the last two rounds and defeat Campbell by split decision after a topsy-turvy encounter.
However, what’s next for the WBA champion is yet to be seen, with a whole host of options for Linares awaiting him at 135 or 140lbs.
1 Mikey Garcia (37-0)
This is the fight a lot, if not most fans want to see, including Linares. When asked who he would like to fight next, Linares responded with - "I would like to fight Mikey Garcia next".
Oscar De La Hoya was open to all possibilities without... mentioning any names.
"We're going to go back to the drawing board. We will see what weight class (Linares) will fight in. If he wants to go up to 140 (pounds). There's different options for him. We'll see what happens."
Breaking this fight down can be tricky, as Linares has been written off before. Just look at the back-to-back knockout losses to Antonio DeMarco and then a little less than half a year later to Sergio Thompson. Oscar De La Hoya believes that Linares is the best fighter at 135 pounds, does that mean he wants this fight with Garcia at 135? Would Garcia prefer 140?
To be honest, I think both fighters wouldn't have a problem at either weight providing the circumstances are right for both parties.
Garcia is undefeated in 37 fights. He does not know how to lose as things stand. However, this fight might go the distance, as both Linares and Garcia are coming off the back of 12 rounds against Campbell and Broner, respectively.
I can see Garcia winning this fight although surely it would be a tight contest. I am talking the slightest of margins, but ultimately if it happens, it will be a spectacle not to be missed.
2 Vasyl Lomachenko (9-1)
The Ukranian dynamo will headline a fight with Guillermo Rigondeaux on December 9 at Madison Square Garden which will be televised for ESPN. This fight creates headlines in its own right as two of the best amateur fighters of all time go head-to-head.
If Lomachenko comes out of this with the win, which I fully expect, then this would set up a superb fight with Linares.
Lomachenko would then be stepping up another weight division, aiming to achieve a third division world title in the process. Even though he is the smaller man going up against a taller Linares with a longer reach, I believe these two could put on a spectacle for the masses.
3 Terry Flanagan (33-0)
Another possibility, is a unification fight with Terry Flanagan.
Flanagan has not defended the WBO lightweight against the best that division has to offer. With opponents like Derry Mathews, Orlando Cruz and Diego Magdaleno, they don't exactly rank up there with the best-of-the-best at 135lbs.
However, I believe "Turbo" has peaked, with him not expected to reach a higher level than he is at now.
Linares wins this fight easily. It's just whether Flanagan and Frank Warren can dangle the carrot in bringing the Venezuelan back to the UK.
4 Luke Campbell (17-2)
Yes, Luke Campbell. A rematch has been touted amongst many boxing fans.
The first fight was that good and entertaining that many people believe Campbell deserves another shot. It was a close fight last Saturday night, but maybe not as close as Eddie Hearn and Campbell himself believed it to be. The Brit recovered well from the knockdown in the second round, winning a lot of the rounds that followed but he was never in control of the fight. He landed a lot of punched and improved his angles but, Linares was always that one step ahead.
Who do you think Linares should face next? Comment below...
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