Photo Alexis Livesey/Getty Images
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA — Fighting for the first time in California since 2014, WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine world lightweight champion Jorge Linares will defend his titles against Luke Cambell this upcoming Saturday, from The “Fabulous” Forum on the next HBO Boxing After Dark telecast.
Linares, who just turned 32-years-old last month, is coming off two consecutive victories over Anthony Crolla. Linares traveled to Manchester, England on both occasions and delivered unanimous decisions on each bout. The fighter from Venezuela (Linares) captured the WBA lightweight world title in the first fight [with Crolla] after being stripped of his WBC lightweight world title in 2016 due to a hand injury.
Cambell (17-1, 14 KOs) gained his last victory against Darleys Perez (33-3-2, 21 KOs) on the undercard of the heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko on April 29. With Linares (42-3, 28 KOs) watching ringside, Cambell, 29, achieved a ninth round TKO when referee Steve Gray called for a stoppage because Perez was visibly unable to throw his left hand in what was said to be an earlier injury to his elbow.
Cambell, who won Olympic gold at the 2012 games, will be fighting for his first world title after winning five bouts in a row since his single professional loss to Yvan Mendy back in 2015. The England native fought once before in the States when he delivered a knockout win over Steve Trumble. This fight was also, coincidentally, on the same card as Linares’ last appearance in America, which could have indicated, at the time, that both athletes were destined to meet sometime down the road.
“It’s an honor to be fighting Jorge Linares for the WBA World title, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine titles in one of the biggest fights in the division,” Cambell said. “I’ve worked my way from Olympic champion to the No.1 spot in the WBA and WBC rankings, and I feel now is the time to take my chance.
Mikey Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs) currently holds the WBC world lightweight championship and has stated his interest in a future unification fight with the three-division world champion Linares. However, Linares would have to get past Cambell firstly, and then focus on big event with Garcia — who just defeated Adrien Broner at 140 pounds in July.
“I think it would be a great, great fight with me,” Garcia, 29, said on the Showtime broadcast of Linares-Crolla II. “I look forward to that. I hope we can get that as soon as possible.”
A bout between Garcia and Linares would sell well, especially in an area like Southern California where boxing fans are considered abundant. Nevertheless, Cambell is looking to spoil that potential matchup by upsetting Linares and taking his [WBA] world title.
“I am excited to make my return to the United States and to headline an HBO show for the first time,” Linares, who made his professional debut at the age of 17 in Japan, said. “I know Luke Campbell is a tough competitor with an incredible amateur and professional background, but I am confident that I will emerge victorious on September 23rd.”