Indio, CA’s Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino is set to host a quality lightweight scrap when Jorge Linares and Javier Fortuna headline an August 28th Golden Boy card. The card marks Golden Boy’s second of the summer, following the July 24th Vergil Ortiz Jr.-Samuel Vargas card at the same location.
Linares (47-5, 29 KO) had been working towards a potential crossroads fight with Ryan Garcia; the Japan-based Venezuelan veteran joined “Kingry” on a February 14th card, knocking out Carlos Morales in the co-feature. Garcia is presently in another spat with Oscar De La Hoya, however, so Linares and his team have looked elsewhere.
“We wanted that fight [with Garcia], Jorge wanted that fight more than anybody,’’ said Jose De La Cruz, who manages Linares. “I guess their camp is not being reasonable with Golden Boy.”
Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KO) also saw a plan fall through, as the coronavirus scuttled a vacant WBC title fight with Luke Campbell. The two were still expected to fight for the interim belt while Devin Haney made a voluntary defense, but that appears to have fallen by the wayside; presumably, “Cool Hand Luke” will cut out the middleman and welcome Haney back to the ring.
Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, told ESPN, “Fortuna was willing to fight pretty much anybody, he was available. So we made the offer to Linares, and he took it right away.”
All that aside, I like this fight. Linares is technically superb but woefully fragile, while Fortuna is a physical standout with serious consistency issues. Plenty of delectable intrigue here.