Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (42-3, 27 KOs), WBA, WBC Diamond, and Ring Magazine World Lightweight Champion, will defend all three of his titles on Sept. 23 when he takes on Luke Campbell (17-1, 14 KOs), No. 1 contender and Olympic Gold Medalist in a battle for the ages. Linares will make his triumphant return stateside after three years away to defend his titles against a formidable opponent. The event takes place Saturday, Sep. 23 at the ‘Fabulous’ Forum in Inglewood, California and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.
The three-time title holder spoke about his hunger for victory, the fear of losing, and his proud return to the United States.
Here is what Jorge Linares had to say in an exclusive Q&A Session:
“I’m in the prime of my career. I think Luke Campbell is the best opponent for me, besides Mikey Garcia. Whether we fight in England or the United States. I’m grateful to Golden Boy Promotions and HBO. I’m the only Venezuelan fighter to be the main event fighting for a world title ever on HBO. And with me being the main event makes it even more special. It makes it a bigger challenge.
“The truth is the hunger has always been there. I just think that the hunger grows bigger when you fall. When you are a world champion and feel invincible, the hunger decreases because you feel invincible and that no one can beat you. I went through that. I won’t deny it. Now I’m back with that old hunger, and I’m praying that it won’t go away. Right now I’m in the best position in my career. Also, I can’t let myself fall again because if I do fall, it’s going to be a lot harder for me to get up. Boxing fans will already know. I’m 31 years old, with four defeats and two fights in a row. These days I no longer have the luxury to lose. That’s why I’m aware that I cannot lose.
“I love the idea of once again returning to the American boxing market. I want the big fights. I want to fight with the best. I am past the fight with Anthony Crolla, and now I want the best. Mikey Garcia. [Vasyl] Lomachenko. I am ready for everybody.”
Linares vs. Campbell is a 12-round fight for the WBA, WBC Diamond and
Ring Magazine Lightweight World Championships, to be held Saturday, September 23 at the ‘Fabulous’ Forum in Inglewood, California. The championship event is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Matchroom Boxing, in association with Teiken Promotions. Orozco vs. Ortiz is a 10-round fight for the WBC USNBC super lightweight title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Cancun Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, Casa Mexico Tequila, Thor: Ragnarok and Fred Loya Insurance and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. The Linares vs. Campbell non-televised undercard action will be live streamed on RingTV.com beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET/ 3:00 p.m. PT.
Linares-Campbell undercard quotes for Saturday
Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (42-3, 27 KOs) and Luke Campbell (17-1, 14 KOs) hosted a media workout today in Los Angeles ahead of their 12-round fight for Linares’ WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Titles.
The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 23 at the “Fabulous” Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. The Linares vs. Campbell non-televised undercard action will be live streamed on RingTV.com beginning at 4:00 p.m. PT/ 7:00 p.m. ET.
In the televised co-main event, Antonio “Relentless” Orozco (26-0, 17 KOs) of San Diego, Calif. will make the first defense of his WBC USNBC Super Lightweight title against veteran Roberto “Massa” Ortiz (35-1-2, 26 KOs). Topping the non-televised portion of the card, Filipino lightweight sensation Romero “Ruthless” Duno (14-1, 13 KOs) will take on Juan Sanchez (29-13, 14 KOs) of Tabasco, Mexico in an eight-round lightweight fight. Azat “Attack” Hovhannisyan (12-2, 10 KOs) will return in a 10-round fight for the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Bantamweight title against Sergio Frias (19-7-2, 10 KOs) of Guadalajara, Mexico.Contender Abraham “Chamaco” Lopez (22-1-1, 15 KOs) of La Puente, Calif. will fight in an eight-round featherweight bout against Isao Carranza (15-9-1, 9 KOs) of Mexico City. Manuel “Tino” Avila (22-1, 8 KOs) of Fairfield, Calif. will also return to the ring in an eight-round featherweight bout against Ramiro Robles (14-6-1, 9 KOs) of Queretaro, Mexico. Rafael “El Alikin” Gramajo (8-1-1, 2 KOs) of Los Angeles’ Westside Boxing Club will open the night of boxing in his return after more than a year away from the ring in a six-round super bantamweight fight against Pedro Melo (17-15-2, 8 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico.
Here’s what the fighters had to say regarding their respective fights at today’s media workout:
JORGE “EL NIÑO DE ORO” LINARES, WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine Lightweight Champion:
“This is a great fight for me, I am the first Venezuelan boxer to headline an HBO show and it is a huge privilege. I hope that with this fight, I leave a big enough impression and make Golden Boy Promotions, Teiken Promotions, and HBO proud.
“Luke Campbell is a young hungry fighter, and that can be a critical difference in the ring. Being a former Olympic fighter, the big lights and cameras won’t scare him off and neither does being the ‘underdog’. My experience and my mentality for this fight is what sets me apart. I have trained all over the world – from Japan, to Panamá, to the UK. I have a well-rounded boxing curriculum. Since my loss to Antonio DeMarco at Staples Center. I am a completely different fighter. I am ready more than ever to capture the fans here in the U.S.”
LUKE CAMPBELL, 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist and Lightweight Contender:
“Fighting on such a big stage doesn’t change the preparation. Motivation is a massive thing. I’m fighting on the biggest network out there. It’s a fantastic way to introduce myself to the American market. I’m excited to watch. I don’t know much about Linares. Obviously he’s a 3-division world champion. This is my opportunity to show what I’ve got.”
ANTONIO “RELENTELESS” OROZCO, WBC USNBC Super Lightweight Champion:
“The time off was wonderful, the opportunity to be on ESPN was great. You always want to work harder than the last training camp. We needed the professional help from a nutritionist, it gave us great results last time, and it’ll give us great results this time. I wasn’t looking for a knock out, but it felt great. It was because of the way we worked out, we just want to put on a great show. This is our opportunity to showcase our talent.”
ROBERTO “MASSA” ORTIZ, Super Lightweight Contender:
“I’m very happy, I’m very motivated. I appreciate the opportunity to be back on the team. I want to thank Golden Boy and my managers. I had a chance and it didn’t go well, but I’m very motivated to do well. I know he’s a good fighter. He comes forward. I’ve prepared mentally and physically, and I know a win will bring bigger and better fights for me. They can expect to see a fighter who comes forward. Let them know. I’m very well prepared for Saturday night. This a fight the fans don’t want to miss. We’re two tremendous warriors.”
ROMERO “RUTHLESS” DUNO, Lightweight Prospect:
“After I won against Chimpa, I trained harder and harder so my next fight would come easy. This coming Saturday, I’ll show how much I practiced. There is always focus on me, that’s why I’m always confident. I’m so excited to get back in the ring.”
AZAT “ATTACK” HOVHANNISYAN, Super Bantamweight Prospect:
“I’m very happy, I’m very well prepared. I’m ready for the fight. I’ve been training for 3 months and have been focused. I’m very excited to face a challenge. It’s a big show. I haven’t fought on a big show like this. It’s a big card, and I want to be the best.”
ABRAHAM “CHAMACO” LOPEZ, Featherweight Contender:
“I’m super excited and ready to go. The last fight was a little slip up — no more nice Abe! When I’m in the ring, I’ve got to be an animal. I’m ready to show the world a new type of Abraham. I had a lost day in my last fight, this is my comeback, and I’ve been training harder, and I am a lot hungrier. My last fight left a bitter taste, and I’d like to get my opponent again, but if not, I’ll see him soon. I’ll do whatever I have to do to get that victory.”
MANUEL “TINO” AVILA, Featherweight Contender:
“I’m really excited to be back in the ring, coming out of a loss. My opponent is a straight forward fighter, he’s left handed. I learned a lot about myself in the last fight, I haven’t trained any different, and our team based training our game plan off another left hander. I’m putting myself back on the map, I’m going to be a defensive fighter.”
RAFAEL “EL ALIKIN” GRAMAJO, Super Bantamweight Prospect:
It’s really exciting to be fighting at the forum, I want to thank Golden Boy for that. It’s been a really big fight, another month and a half added to our camp. I know little about my opponent, he’s got a little boxing style, but that won’t matter come fight night cause we have what it takes. We’re going to do what we have to do to take this fight.”
Linares vs. Campbell is a 12-round fight for the WBA, WBC Diamond and
Ring Magazine Lightweight World Championships, to be held Saturday, September 23 at the ‘Fabulous’ Forum in Inglewood, California. The championship event is presented by Golden Boy Promotions and Matchroom Boxing, in association with Teiken Promotions. Orozco vs. Ortiz is a 10-round fight for the WBC USNBC super lightweight title presented by Golden Boy Promotions in association with Cancun Boxing. The event is sponsored by Tecate, BORN BOLD, Casa Mexico Tequila, Thor: Ragnarok and Fred Loya Insurance and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT. The Linares vs. Campbell non-televised undercard action will be live streamed on RingTV.com beginning at 4:00 p.m. PT/ 7:00 p.m. ET.
Tickets are priced at $25, $50, $75 and $125, not including applicable service charges and taxes, with a total ticket limit of 12 per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000 or the Forum Box Office (Monday through Friday 11:00 a.m. PST to 7:00 p.m. PST) at (310) 330-7300. Tickets are also available for purchase at www.fabulousforum.com or www.ticketmaster.com.