One of my favorite boxing stylists, Jorge Linares (39-3, 26 KOs), will be defending his lightweight strap this weekend when he takes on Ivan Cano (23-6-2, 15 KOs) in his home country of Venezuela. The good news for folks Stateside is that ESPN has just made a deal to broadcast the fight, which will now be shown on ESPN3. The broadcast will stream live in Spanish starting at 6:30pm EST, with the main event expected to start at around 11:30pm EST. A two hour tape delay broadcast will also be shown on ESPN Deportes on Sunday at 9pm EST.
I was supposed to do an interview with Linares last week to ask him some tough questions about his career track before he traveled back to Venezuela, but I just didn't get the chance (I hope he and his PR rep aren't mad at me, I still love you Jorge!).
This fight will mark Linares' first fight in his home country since 2010. In his last outing, this past May, Linares won via a 10th round TKO over Kevin Mitchell in what was a really good back and forth fight. More than a few people disputed the stoppage, but that fight could potentially merit a rematch sometime in the near future.
As for Mexico's Ivan Cano, he's coming off a decision win over John Carlo Aparicio in February and two draws with Javier Prieto before that. Linares certainly should win this fight, because man can that guy box, but his vulnerability to cuts is always a question mark.