Lomachenko to fight Linares on May 12

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 14, 2018

Though the fight was touch-and-go in recent weeks, the highly anticipated bout between lightweight world champion Jorge Linares and junior lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko is a done deal. They struck a deal, according to the Los Angeles Times, because ESPN agreed to air the telecast headlined by Lomachenko-Linares at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, so that it won't be broadcast at the same time as HBO's replay that night of the Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin middleweight championship rematch. (Lomachenko) and De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions (Linares) have come to an agreement for Lomachenko to challenge Linares for the Venezuelan's WBA lightweight title May 12 at Madison Square Garden in NY. That issue was that HBO had a boxing card scheduled to take place on May 12 that would have interfered with the ESPN card.

On Monday, both sides signed the contract on the bout.

The fight is not only one of the most significant that can be made in boxing, but it also shows that longtime bitter rivals Top Rank and Golden Boy can make fights together, although most of the deal was ironed out between Top Rank and Japan's Teiken Promotions, Linares' co-promoter. He is coming off a decision victory against Mercito Gesta on January 27 at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Lomachenko made Rigondeaux quit after the sixth round.

The 30-year-old Lomachenko - commonly considered one of boxing's best fighters, pound-for-pound - owns the WBO super featherweight title (130 pounds).

Though he suffered a loss against Orlando Salido early on during his career, this was all but forgotten after he secured a second-weight world title against Roman Martinez in 2016. If he defeats Linares in his 12th fight, Lomachenko will set the record for fewest fights needed to win a world title in three divisions.

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