Lightweight Jorge Linares, whose United States promoter since 2009 has been Golden Boy, signed a multi-year contract extension with Oscar De La Hoya’s company, Golden Boy announced on Tuesday.
Linares, who has won world titles at lightweight, junior lightweight and featherweight, will also continue to be co-promoted by Akihiko Honda’s Teiken Promotions, Japan’s leading promotional company.
Linares (40-3, 27 KOs), 30, a native of Venezuela who spends considerable time in Japan, said leaving Golden Boy was not even something he considered.
"Golden Boy Promotions is an elite promoter and they have treated me well over the years, so there was no question that I was going to re-sign with them," Linares said. “We've still got work to do in this sport, and I'm confident that we will achieve more great moments together in the future."
Linares has won nine fights in a row since suffering back-to-back stoppage losses to Antonio DeMarco in late 2011 and Sergio Thompson in early 2012.
In December 2014, Linares knocked out Javier Prieto in the fourth round to win a vacant lightweight belt and made two defenses, including a 10th-round knockout of Kevin Mitchell in his native England last May in an action-packed fight of the year contender.
Linares was due to make a mandatory defense against highly-regarded Dejan Zlaticanin last month but withdrew because of a fractured hand. Because he was unable to make the mandatory defense, Linares was stripped of his 135-pound belt and reclassified as a “champion in recess.”
Zlaticanin (21-0, 14 KOs), 31, of Montenegro, and Emiliano Marsili (32-0-1, 14 KOs), 39, of Italy, will fight for the vacant belt on June 11 (Showtime) at the Turning Stone resort in Verona, New York. Linares can have a shot at the winner upon his return if he wants the fight.
However, there is a good chance Linares will forgo that match and instead challenge England’s Anthony Crolla (31-4-3, 13 KOs) for his lightweight world title belt later this year.
"Jorge Linares is an elite talent who continues to impress every time out,” De La Hoya said. “At only 30 years old, the best is yet to come for him. There are a lot of big fights out there for Jorge, and we're going to pull out all the stops to give him the platform he deserves."