Former three-weight champion Jorge “El Niño de Oro” Linares (40-3, 27 KOs) intends to dethrone reigning and defending WBA World lightweight champion Anthony Crolla when they meet this weekend in Manchester.
He believes his skill and experience will be enough to walk away with Crolla’s title, but there’s something else, someone else who is motivating Jorge Linares.
“Gilberto Mendoza wasn’t my blood family,” said Linares, according to The Daily Star, “but he was like my grandfather. I loved him dearly. I am where I am today because of him and his son Gilberto Mendoza Jr. I saw him in October when he was making his last steps, we spent some good time together and he met my daughter.
“This is something I promised him. I promised him the WBA belt, to bring it back to him, so yes I have that on me and because I know that I’m preparing well in the gym to come and fulfill that promise.”
The former WBA Fedelatin, WBA Fedecentro, and WBA World super featherweight champion has long been part of the WBA family, and with the recent passing of Sr. Mendoza, Saturday’s fight for the WBA World lightweight crown has taken on extra meaning.
“It’s a fight he wanted, it’s a fight I wanted, it’s a fight the fans wanted, so why not make it? I’m at the point in my career where I’m not going to take the smaller fights. Why take a smaller fight first? I want the bigger fights. I’ve learned what I have to learn in boxing and now I have to go and show it.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.