Due to a scheduling conflict Jorge Linares confirms to ESPN he’ll be taking on the highest profile fight of his career — against Vasyl Lomachenko — without trainer Ismael Salas in his corner. Salas, who has trained Linares for his last 13 wins — is currently in London working with David Haye for his rematch with Tony Bellew next month with Linares preferring to hold his training camp in Las Vegas. And because Haye-Bellew II was made official before Lomachenko-Linares, Salas wasn’t about to jump ship on Haye mid-stride.
So now Linares will have his younger brother Carlos take over the lead trainer role with the rest of his regular team: assistant trainer Rudy Hernandez and S&C coach Jorge Capetillo. Linares will still consult with Salas via telephone for camp, and says there’s no hard feelings between the two.
“We did not leave Salas and Salas did not leave me,” Linares said through interpreter Robert Diaz, the matchmaker for his promoter, Golden Boy Promotions. “It was just a scheduling conflict. It was a conflict that made it difficult for us to be together for this fight. I understand. I’m not upset about it at all. I have all his advice and teachings that I need to do. It’s always there in spirit, and we can talk over the phone [during training camp]. We still communicate. This is not a breakup.”
Linares’ translator also made it clear that he’s an experienced, veteran boxer at this point in his career and that he knows how to prepare for a fight of this magnitude. Linanes also mentioned that he’s highly motivated to prove to the world just how good he is.
“I know I have to work hard, but at the same time, Lomachenko is coming up in weight. He’s the challenger and I am the champion. My thing is I am going to remain the champion after this fight and show people how good I am. This is what I have always wanted, and I am grateful to ESPN, [Lomachenko promoter] Top Rank and Lomachenko for this opportunity to show how good I am.”
Will not having Salas physically in his camp and corner spell disaster for Linares against an opponent as talented as Lomachenko, or do you believe it wouldn’t have made any difference anyway?