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Jorge Linares wants Ryan Garcia fight, but end goal is rematch with Lomachenko

Linares, currently in Japan, wants to win a big fight and then get a second crack at the Ukrainian champion.

Former three-division titleholder Jorge Linares was really hoping to fight Ryan Garcia this spring, but the idea is on hold for the moment due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, as Venezuela’s Linares lives in Japan and can’t travel to the United States.

But the two fighters have had some words on social media, and are keeping the topic alive. Linares, 34, doesn’t seem to be taking it as a super serious thing

“We’re still talking a little on social media, because he loves that, the people love that. He’s the champion in social media,” Linares joked to Golden Boy’s Jess Rosales. “He tries to fight with everyone. I don’t know why. But he tried to fight with (Henry Cejudo), he tried to fight with Abner Mares. So I told him again, if you want to do the fight, we need to wait for the (COVID) situation. It’s impossible if he’s going to fight on July 4.”

The current plan is, indeed, for Garcia to return on July 4, though that’s not 100 percent official. Either way, Garcia definitely wants to fight soon, and Linares simply won’t be available for his next bout.

Linares (47-5, 29 KO) does make clear that he wants that fight, though, when it can get done, but admits Garcia is not his end goal. That would be a rematch with Vasiliy Lomachenko.

“I want it so much, I’m ready for that. I have a lot of motivation, I’m training every day because I want a big fight,” he said. “I want to fight with Ryan Garcia or anyone, I don’t care. What I really want is a rematch with Lomachenko, but first I need to get a big fight to do that. We’ll see. If (Garcia) wants to fight with me, we have to wait a little bit, and after this situation we can do the fight.”

Linares also smiled when shown Tweets from his back-and-forth with Garcia, where he called Garcia a child and Garcia fired back that Linares is an old man.

“That’s good! I’m happy he said that,” Linares said. “An old man? So I suppose it’s an easy fight for him. Why doesn’t he take it?”