WBA lightweight titleholder Jorge Linares could be facing his mandatory challenger, Luke Campbell, in a September 23 bout on HBO, according to Dan Rafael at ESPN.com. Linares is slated to headline that night on the network.
Linares (42-3, 27 KO) has been a bit of a nightmare for British fighters in recent years, twice beating Anthony Crolla, and also stopping Kevin Mitchell back in 2015. The 31-year-old Venezuelan has won world titles in three weight classes over his career, and has settled in nicely after losses in 2009, 2011, and 2012, winning his last 11 fights in a row.
Campbell (17-1, 14 KO) won gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, and has been impressive as a pro, even though he stumbled in a 2015 loss to Yvan Mendy. Campbell, 29, used that as a learning experience instead of letting it derail him, coming back determined to be a better fighter. He’s won five straight, and stopped Darleys Perez in his last outing.
Linares’ main event slot on HBO is a big opportunity, not just because of the obvious, but because it would come on the Saturday following Canelo vs Golovkin, when HBO will air that pay-per-view replay. That usually results in a nice bump for the viewing numbers of a live card.
Do you think Campbell is ready for Linares, or would Jorge keep battering the Brits in this matchup?