Earlier this year, Jorge Linares successfully turned back the challenge of Anthony Crolla in their rematch to retain THE RING Magazine and WBA lightweight titles by unanimous decision.
It was a masterclass performance from the 31-year-old Venezuelan.
“I think this was one of my best performances,” Linares (42-3, 27 knockouts) told RingTV.com through his wife Michelle at the Top Rank gym in Las Vegas last Friday. “The preparation we did for Crolla was even more intense than the first one. We were more prepared, more dedicated and we knew what to do in that fight. I felt comfortable with my hand, no problem whatsoever, and we did a good job on that day.
“I feel extremely happy; that’s kind of what I was looking to do in the fight. We knocked him down in the seventh round and he got up. It was a good fight; we put up a good show, both Crolla and myself. I’m extremely happy and I want to improve even more, so, if I ever fight in the U.K., it will be a bigger and more emotional fight than the last fight.”
Since returning from the U.K. Linares has enjoyed a break with his family and also traveled to Narita, Japan for some conditioning work. He is now back in Las Vegas with his coach Ismael Salas gearing up for his next challenge.
“I believe the date will be September 23 in L.A.,” he said. “I am going to talk with (Golden Boy Promotions CEO/Chairman) Oscar De La Hoya to finalize my next opponent on Tuesday (June 20th).
“We’re trying to find the best ranked opponent we can get. We don’t want an easy fight. There are talks that we will fight (Luke) Campbell after this fight, if everything comes out well this December in England.”
Linares also has his eye on WBC counterpart Mikey Garcia further down the road.
“Mikey Garcia had his strategy to move up to fight with (Adrien) Broner,” he said. “I think it’s 50/50. They’re both good fighters. I was ready to fight Mikey Garcia; I’ll fight him in the future. I’m not scared of anyone.”
Once “El Nino De Oro” has worked out his next move, he exclusively told RingTV.com he intends to set up camp overseas.
“Nobody knows this but we are planning on moving to the U.K. this month to start our preparation for our next fight,” he stated. “We’re planning on being in London. That location will make us achieve what we want.
“My trainer will move to the U.K. and if we stabilize there, why not do some sparring with (Anthony) Crolla (laughs). I appreciate Anthony Crolla, not only as a boxer but as a friend and person. I would like to train together and spend some time together. I’m aware the U.K. has some of the greatest fighters in boxing right now.”
While there is still much to conquer at lightweight, Linares admits to one day hoping to move to junior welterweight and becoming a four-division world champion.
“That’s one of the things I would like to do in my career but I can still make 135. It’s not a problem for me,” he explained. “I want to fight all the best in my weight.
“After I have completed my goal, I will move on to 140. I don’t care where I have to go. I’m the type of fighter who likes to go into the opponents’ backyard. I feel more prepared, more ready and I feel I put up a better show and I go with a mindset to win over the crowd.”
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