Mikey Garcia has hinted that negotiations are at an advanced stage for a January unification showdown with Jorge Linares.
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The WBC lightweight world champion, who outclassed Adrien Broner back in July, wants to return to the ring in the early part of 2018 and Garcia is hopeful of securing a fight in his home state of California.
Following the WBC ordering a bout between Garcia and Venezuela’s Linares, the division’s WBA beltholder, the unbeaten 29-year-old American has given an update on where talks are currently at.
“We’re talking to Golden Boy about facing Linares and it’s a fight that interests me a lot. At lightweight I am a champion and he is a champion. It is the fight that is worth it, that the public is asking for,” said Garcia to ESPN Deportes.
“We are trying to reach an agreement for January or maybe we move the date, but it is the fight that interests us the most.
“There are places available in Los Angeles. The dates of January 20 and 27 are the ones mentioned, then there are others in February or March, but I would like to do the fight in Los Angeles.
“There are other dates available in Las Vegas, but for me and Golden Boy we would like Los Angeles. It would be an eye-catching fight in Southern California.”
Garcia is wary of the challenge of Linares who has beaten Kevin Mitchell, Luke Campbell and Anthony Crolla twice in recent years.
“Hopefully that fight can be achieved. It will definitely be done in 2018. If it’s not done in January, I’m sure it will be done a few months later.
“(Linares) is a great champion, he has shown it several times, he is in his best stage, he has already managed to shine in other divisions for years, but now he is at his best.
Mikey Garcia was far too good for Adrien Broner as he produced a one-sided points victory at the Barclays Center in New York back in July
“He is strong, very fast, his hand speed is something almost incredible, because before he wasn’t doing it like he’s doing it right now.
“(The qualities of Linares) are things that I have to look at, take care of his speed of legs and hands, combinations where he sometimes throws four and five punches, but that is what draws attention to the fight. (Linares) brings little things and I bring things, and those are the things that are required for a great fight.”