During fight week, Jorge Linares said he wanted Mikey Garcia. Well, he's now getting Garcia.
Linares retained his WBA and WBC Diamond lightweight titles against Luke Campbell on HBO with a razor-thin split decision win (115-112, 114-113, 112-115).
The fight started with Linares scoring a knockdown in the second round and dominated the first few rounds of the fight. Linares landed a hard right hand to Campbell's face with 30 seconds to go, creating a bad cut under Campbell's right eye. Campbell fought back halfway through the fight and even outboxed Linares for several rounds before Linares bounced back towards the end of the night.
The loss snapped Campbell's five-fight win streak that started last year. During that win streak, Campbell captured the WBC Silver lightweight title after losing the WBC international title in 2015.
Linares' win now sets him up with a potential superfight at lightweight between Linares and Garcia, both world champions at 135 pounds. The WBC confirmed shortly before the fight that as the winner of the fight, Linares now faces Garcia in what could be the next unification bout in a year that is filled with unification fights and mega fights that has benefited the sport greatly.
In the post-fight interview, Linares made it abundantly clear that he wants Garcia, no matter the weight. Linares said in a Q&A session days before the fight that he wanted to fight more in the United States and compete against the likes of Garcia and Vasyl Lomachenko.
"[I want] Mikey Garcia at 135," Linares said. "If we need to go to 140, we'll go to 140."
Linares has now won his last 12 fights, a streak that started back in late 2012.