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De La Hoya says No negotiations have taken place for Linares vs. Lomachenko

Jorge Linares Vasiliy Lomachenko

By Dan Ambrose: Oscar De La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions says there have been no talks between him and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum for Jorge Linares vs. Vasyl Lomachenko fight. However, Top Rank boss Bob Arum says he’s been in talks with Linares’ co-promoter Akihiko Honda of Teiken Promotions in Japan for a fight with Lomachenko on April 28 or May 12.

Arum mentioned wanting to work out a deal with Mr. Honda for the Linares-Lomachenko fight, and then contacting Golden Boy afterwards to finish the remainder of the deal. For whatever reason, Arum has chosen to go to Linares’ co-promoter Honda first rather than Golden Boy. It doesn’t look like Golden Boy will stand in the way of the Linares vs. Lomachenko fight from taking place. It just sounds more like Golden Boy will need to wait until Arum has finished negotiating with Linares’ co-promoters at Teiken Promotions before they’re contacted by Top Rank to complete the deal. Linares apparently wants the fight with Lomachenko, so it’s a match that would be still made even if Top Rank went straight to Golden Boy.

One of the biggest questions about a Linares-Lomachenko fight is which network would televise the fight. Linares fights on Showtime, whereas Lomachenko is a Top Rank fighter and he fights only on ESPN. Will both networks televise it or will one of the fighters have to give in and fight on a rival network?

“No talks whatsoever. I’m his [Linares]promoter,” De La Hoya said on Twitter about negotiations between Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank for a fight between Linares and Vasyl Lomachenko. ”Bob [Arum] knows how to get a hold of me if he wants to talk,” De La Hoya said.

It’s not the ideal way for a fight to get made by Top Rank contacting just one of the 2 co-promoters for WBA lightweight champion Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) rather than both of them, as it gives the appearance that Golden Boy is the secondary promoters. Whether that’s the case or not is unclear. From the way De La Hoya is talking, he seems to have been caught off guard in hearing about the Linares-Lomachenko negotiations without him and Golden Boy being contacted.

The Lomachenko vs. Linares fight will likely still get made regardless. Linares, 32, wants the fight with the Ukrainian, and it will give him a good payday. Linares wanted to face WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia, but he chose to move up to light welterweight and challenge IBF champion Sergey Lipinets for a fight scheduled on March 10th on Showtime Boxing. Mikey had planned on moving back down to 135 after picking up Lipinets’ IBF title, and then Linares in a unification fight. Mikey obviously made a mistake by not taking the bigger fight with Linares rather than going after Lipinets for his IBF title. Mikey has now missed out on facing Linares. Mikey can still fight Linares, but it’ll have to wait until after he’s done with the Lomachenko fight on April 28 or May 12. If Linares loses to Lomachenko, Mikey can fight Linares of Lomachenko. It doesn’t matter. The boxing public will still be interested in a fight between Mikey and Linares.

On Wednesday, Mikey told ES News Reporting that if Linares doesn’t face him next, then he’ll never fight him. Mikey says Linares was supposed to fight him in his next fight, and he doesn’t want him to face Lomachenko. It looks like Mikey won’t get his wish. He can still fight Linares. If Linares loses to Lomachenko, he’ll need someone to fight and Mikey will be perfect. The boxing public will expect Mikey to face Lomachenko under those circumstances rather than Linares. If Mikey doesn’t want to face Lomachenko for whatever reason, then Linares is always an option regardless of him potentially coming off of a loss to Lomachenko. It would be a title defense for Mikey if that’s the case. Linares would be challenging for his WBC lightweight belt.

“Knowing Honda, he’ll probably ask for the terms he wants and we’ll work that out, and then he would have me contact Golden Boy for the provision of services contract and to work out the other stuff,” Arum said to ”So far in my conversations with Honda, everything is proceeding nicely.”

There it is. Arum is dealing with Linares’ co-promoter Mr. Honda first before he turns to Golden Boy to complete the deal.

Linares is coming off of a 12 round unanimous decision win over Mercito Gesta on January 27th of last month at the Forum in Inglewood, California. The fight was televised on Showtime Boxing. The fight was harder than many fans expected it to be for Linares, who picked Gesta from the bottom of the WBA’s rankings at No.15.

Lomachenko defeated super bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux by a 6th round stoppage on December 9 on ESPN. Rigondeaux had to move up 2 weight classes from 122 to face Lomachenko at 130 without a catch-weight. Needless to say, Lomachenko received very little credit for the victory due to him not facing Rigondeaux halfway with a catch-weight. Lomachenko will have to fight Linares at the full weight for the lightweight division if he wants to win his WBA title.

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