Talks continue between representatives of Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares, and while things aren’t finalized yet, Lomachenko promoter Bob Arum has his eyes on a May 12th showdown at Madison Square Garden. Should the fight fall through, he also has a replacement foe in mind: Ray Beltran, who fights Paulus Moses for the vacant WBO lightweight title next week.
Next to a unification bout with Miguel Berchelt or the dream matchup with Mikey Garcia, Linares (44-3, 27 KO) is one of the most appealing matchups out there for Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KO), who has looked more or less invincible since losing to Orlando Salido in what was less a boxing match and more a gauntlet of testicular endurance. Linares is one of the few fighters out there to offer similar levels of speed and precision, though he’s held back by paper-thin skin and a tendency to fall apart when the going gets tough.
Beltran (34-7-1, 21 KO) is still a contender at age 36 and is big, mean, and powerful enough to be an interesting opponent for Lomachenko, but Linares is still the ideal. Worst comes to worst, I wouldn’t be too opposed to Beltran-Lomachenko if it meant we finally got Linares-Garcia, but let’s wait and see where this goes.