EXCLUSIVE Why Jorge Linares has moved to London

Jorge Linares
Action Images/Reuters/Adam Holt
WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares tells John Dennen what opportunities he’s hunting down

WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares has left the bright lights and clement weather of Las Vegas behind and moved to London, the new fight capital of the world. His trainer Ismael Salas has also set up at David Haye’s gym in the city where he’ll work with Hayemaker-Ringstar signings like Joe Joyce, Michael Page and Qais Ashfaq,

Linares told Boxing News why he relocated. “I’ve moved from Las Vegas to London. I planned to move to London for my wife, for my little kids and for me because I’m looking for more opportunities. Because now London is the best place for boxing,” he said. “All the people know me because I’ve had three fights in the UK, big fights, Kevin Mitchell and two times with Anthony Crolla. So I know everybody in London right now. So when I had the plan to move to London, my coach talked to me, ‘You’re going to London? I’m going too.’”

He continued, “Now I’m a very lucky guy, I have my coach here, my wife, my kids, I have a very good gym, David Haye opened the door for me. So I’m very happy. I’m very excited because London is the best place for boxing right now, a lot of opportunity, a lot of fighters. I’m waiting for a big opportunity right now. That’s why I’m so very happy.”

His next fight will be in September in America and after that he eyes possible bouts with Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell or unifying with WBO champion Terry Flanagan. “I have plans to fight on September 23 in Los Angeles in the United States but I don’t know who. I don’t know 135lbs or which belt, WBA or WBC,” he said.

“I want to look for a great fight. So I’m waiting for my promoter, Golden Boy promotions and maybe have a fight in the UK, maybe in the UK, maybe Luke Campbell or I’m waiting for Flanagan too. I want to try for a big opportunity right now.”

The lightweight division in the UK is a target rich environment, part of the reason for his move to Britain. “Now I have two very good options in the UK, Flanagan and Luke Campbell. But now I’m looking for one fight in the United States and then coming back to London,” Linares said.

Jorge Linares

He was ringside in Wembley to see Campbell beat Darleys Perez on the Joshua-Klitschko undercard. “I’ve seen the last fight with the Colombian guy. I came to London for the fight, the Joshua fight. [Campbell] looked good, a very good boxer. A different level from me but it’s a good opportunity for me and a good boxing show for the UK. But now I’m waiting till December or maybe next year,” the Venezuelan commented.

The Flanagan unification is the most appealing bout for him, “a big opportunity for a big unification fight. Now I’m looking and I’m looking for a big fight,” he notes. “So let me see, let me see what happens.”

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