WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares has been order by the WBA to fight Luke Campbell.
The governing body issued the following statement, which can be seen below, saying that Linares' nine-month window to fight his mandatory opponent expired in June.
The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee has ordered the start of negotiations between Jorge Linares and the British Luke Campbell; the title in dispute is the Lightweight Championship.
Linares, current WBA champion at 135 pounds, got his belt last September 2016, when he defeated British Anthony Crolla. Since then, he has not had a mandatory fight. According to article 11 of the WBA Rules, a champion must face his mandatory opponent in a period of 9 months, time that expired on June 23rd, 2017.
Campbell got the opportunity to fight for a world title after defeating Colombian Darleys Perez by TKO in the ninth round last April.
Both teams were duly notified and have 30 days, starting July 21st, to reach an agreement or, otherwise, the fight will be called for purse bids.
Linares won the WBA title last year when he defeated Anthony Crolla with a close unanimous decision win. The two had a rematch earlier this year, where Linares won a far more lopsided fight in Linares' favor, but it wasn't a mandatory fight. Linares has also challenged for the WBA super featherweight and WBC lightweight world titles in the past. Linares has won his last 11 fights, seven of which were via KO.
Campbell, the former Commonwealth (British Empire) and WBC Silver lightweight champion, has won his last five fights, including two wins in 2017. Campbell stopped Darleys Perez and Jairo Lopez in April and February, respectively. Campbell's last fight took place on the Anthony Joshua vs. Wladimir Klitschko undercard. Campbell is the No. 6 lightweight in the Fightful Boxing Rankings, while Linares is the top ranked lightweight.