Mikey Garcia says his fight with Jorge Linares will take place this summer at lightweight
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 05/01/18 8:43pm
Mikey Garcia says his lightweight showdown with Jorge Linares will take place this summer.
The multiple world champions have been calling each other out for the last three months and even entered discussions for a unification fight at 135lb in January.
Garcia and promoters Golden Boy have decided to push it back "a few months" and although the unbeaten American and Linares (43-3-KO27) are on different bills in the next five weeks, 'Mikey' still expects the pair to meet this year.
"I went over and sat down with Golden Boy and Eric Gomez and discussed the possibility of that fight for January 20th or 27th, but Eric also suggested it should be on a different date," he exclusively told Sky Sports.
Linares is not going to go down easy and I am not going to go down easy, so we really want to get in the ring in the summer.
"January is not the right month and that is why we have both decided to take an interim fight. We both want this fight, we both want to fight each other, so why not take advantage and wait a few months and generate more money and interest than we would have in January?
"That is why we have both decided to take an interim fight. He's taking on (Mercito) Gesta on January 27, I'm taking on (Sergey) Lipinets on February 10, so when these are done we will sit down again. It is still the goal.
"Hopefully we don't have any injuries or cuts and we both come out clean and healthy from these fights and we both have victories. Then we can meet in the summer. That's the fight everyone wants to see and it's a fight that makes sense. I know Jorge is excited to get into the ring with me, I am excited to get in the ring with him this year.
"Let's hope everything goes down well, let's pray to the boxing gods that there's no more interruptions and no other politics get in the way, and let's make these fights the fans really want to see."
Garcia will be looking to win a world title at his fourth different weight when he challenges IBF super-lightweight holder Lipinets (13-0-KO10) in San Antonio, Texas.
The Californian still holds the WBC lightweight belt but will join boxers including Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and recent victim Adrien Broner if he adds the super-lightweight title to his name, but is adamant he is taking a bigger risk than Linares - who will defend his WBA title against Gesta - and will immediately move back down.
"Lipinets has only had 13 fights but he had an extensive amateur career, a kick-boxing career so he's a fighter all round and to win a world title in only his 13th fight shows he is legit, he's the real deal," said Garcia.
"I think Gesta is an easier fight for Linares, who is a top guy, is a champion in three divisions and has got the whole package. Even though he had a few losses early on in his career, he has bounced back like a real champion, and he is better now than he was before.
"I think at 135lbs it is the fight that makes the most sense for me and for him, and before I leave the division permanently I really want to solidify myself as the king of the lightweight division.
"Linares is not going to go down easy and I am not going to go down easy, so we really want to get in the ring in the summer."