22-year old Jorge Linares has vacated the WBC's featherweight title, citing difficulty making the 126-pound limit and a need for more time to recover from injuries, and the WBC has shamefully given former super bantamweight champion Oscar Larios status as "full champion."
The Linares news is not surprising, since he was rumored to be moving up to 130 pounds anyway. He's one of the best young fighters in the sport, maybe the absolutely most exciting of them all, and that's counting the likes of Amir Khan and Andre Berto. He showed against Larios in 2007 that he can be a truly destructive force.
What I mean by "shameful" is the fact that Larios shouldn't be fighting at all. The gutsy 31-year old warrior has taken a lot of punishment in his career, and is currently on medical suspesnion in the United States after suffering a subdural hematoma in the brutal loss to Linares. He has been fighting in Mexico since then, and beat Feider Viloria in May to win the interim title. He successfully defended against Marlon Aguilar just 11 days ago.
Next up, Larios is set to face unbeaten Japanese fighter Takahiro Aoh (16-0-1, 8 KO). Larios holds a career record of 62-6-1 with 39 knockouts. He's had a hell of a career, but he should not be fighting. It's downright dangerous and borderline unethical.
Linares (25-0, 16 KO) has nothing on his agenda right now, but it looks pretty certain that he will return at 130 pounds.
The only good thing is that this means that Linares won't fight Larios again, which the WBC was ordering. That fight was all kinds of bad news. Linares beat the ever-loving hell out of Larios the first time around; there was no need to see it again, and the only thing that could have happened was Larios getting hurt. In that regard, we're lucky. But Larios will fight on, with every bout being potentially disastrous. I wish him the best of luck -- he's a fighter worth admiring, no matter his current circumstances.