Jorge Linares vs. Javier Fortuna on August 28 on DAZN
By Jim Maltzman: #1 WBC lightweight contender Javier Fortuna and #5 WBC Jorge Linares have agreed to a deal for August 28 on DAZN. Mike Coppinger and Steve Kim are reporting that the terms have been agreed for a Fortuna vs. Linares fight at 135.
Fortuna, 31, can punch, and he may give Linares problems if he can connect with some big shots. With Fortuna, he sometimes falls apart when facing aggressive punchers.
Javier Fortuna needs a good performance
Fortuna lost to Jason Sosa and Robert Easter Jr, and he had a weird fight against Adrian Granados in June 2018. the match was ruled a four-round no-decision after Fortuna fell out of the ring and was injured,
Subsequently, Fortuna was taken out of the arena on a stretcher. Hopefully, Fortuna stays inside the ring against Linares because it would look bad if he slips through the ropes again and gets hurt.
This is a fight that has huge ramifications because the winner will take on the winner of the match between WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney and #2 WBC Luke Campbell, which will be taking place in September or October.
Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KOs) and Campbell (20-3, 16 KOs) will suppose to be fighting for the interim WBC 135-pound title. But the World Boxing Council gave Haney (24-0, 15 KOs) the option to make a voluntary defense of his WBA lightweight title, and he’s opted to face Campbell.
Terms agreed for Linares vs. Fortuna
Haney and Campbell are both promoted by Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn., which makes it a good move for them to face each other.
“Jorge Linares and Javier Fortuna have agreed to terms for a lightweight fight Aug. 28 on DAZN. Really intriguing crossroads matchup between two top-10 lightweights. @StevESPNKim earlier reported that Linares would fight TBA on Aug. 28,” said @MikeCoppinger.
What’s interesting about Linares and Fortuna, 31, facing each other is both of them were recently potential fights for #3 WBC Ryan Garcia. Linares wasn’t able to take the battle in July for when Golden Boy wanted him to face Ryan because of the travel ban.
Golden Boy was still interested in matching Ryan against Linares in September, possibly, but that idea no longer has legs with the news of the Fortuna-Linares fight on August 28.
The former three-division world champion Linares 47-5, 29 KOs), and the former WBA super featherweight champion Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KOs) both are in positions in their respective careers where they can’t afford a loss.
Linares was knocked out in the first round by Pablo Cesar Cano last year in January at 140. The excellent news for Linares is he didn’t lose his ranking at 135 after his disastrous loss to Cano. Since the fight took place at light-welterweight, it didn’t hurt his rankings.
You can’t fault Linares for at least trying to make something happen at 140 because he wanted to try out a new division after his loss to Vasily Lomachenko in 2018.
Jorge Linares fighting at a high level
Lomachenko stopped Linares in the 10th round, and he wanted to have an easier time making weight. As such, moving up to 140 was a move that Linares assumed would make his life more comfortable. However, he didn’t figure into the equation the added size and power of the fighters in the light-welterweight division.
Linares never did have a great chin, and it was a mistake for him to go up to 140 and take on a slugger in Cano right away.
The former three-division world champion Linares has looked a little chinny recently in losing two out of his last five fights by knockouts. Before losing to Lomachenko in 2018, Linares had won 13 consecutive matches over a six-year period since 2012.
You can’t say that Linares’ two recent losses are because of him being over-the-hill. Lomachenko and Cano likely would have beaten Linares even when he was at his best.
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