Linares (46-5, 28 KO) is returning to lightweight after a disastrous stint at 140 saw him mauled by Pablo Cesar Cano in a single round. The 34-year-old, who’d won 13 straight before giving Vasiliy Lomachenko one of his toughest fights since Orlando Salido, was last seen winning a get-well decision over Al Toyogun in September on a nondescript Japanese card.
“I’m more than ready to start the year off strong against Carlos Morales,” said Jorge Linares. “2019 was a difficult year, but I’ve been through ups and downs in my career before, and I’ve always come back. On February 14, I’m going to show why I became a four-time world champion by scoring a dominant win. After that, I hope to fight for a world title very soon.”
Morales (19-4-4, 8 KO) is better known for his losses than his wins; falling to but giving good accounts of himself against Alberto Machado, Garcia, and Rene Alvarado. He forced Garcia to settle for a majority decision and the Alvarado loss has aged exceptionally well.
“It’s an honor to share squared circle with a three-division world champion,” said Carlos Morales. “The only way to get to the top of the division is to fight the best. That’s where I want to be, so on February 14 the fans will see me at my very best.”
The ultimate plan is to pit Garcia against Linares; this matchup doesn’t look fit to throw a wrench in those plans, but Linares is notoriously fragile, so who knows.
Alexis Rocha, Blair Cobbs, and Oscar Negrete are set to appear as well, among others.