Former featherweight and junior lightweight titlist Jorge Linares will get a shot to win a belt in a third weight division when he challenges lightweight titleholder Richard Abril on Nov. 10 in Tokyo.
"That is a difficult fight but I have all the confidence in Jorge," Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Diaz, who has worked with Linares for several years, told ESPN.com on Thursday. "He is ready."
The fight will take place on a card being put on by Linares co-promoter Akihiko Honda's Teiken Promotions. Bantamweight titlist Shinsuke Yamanaka (19-0-2, 14 KOs) of Japan will headline the card when he makes his fifth defense against Mexico's Alberto Guevara (18-1, 6 KOs), who has won two fights in a row since suffering his only loss, which came in a 2012 bantamweight title shot against Leo Santa Cruz.
Also slated to fight on the card in scheduled 10-rounders, according to Teiken Promotions, are junior flyweight titleholder Roman Gonzalez (36-0, 30 KOs) of Nicaragua in a nontitle bout at flyweight and former junior lightweight titlist Takahiro Ao (24-3-1, 11 KOs) of Japan in a lightweight fight.
The defensive-minded Abril (18-03-1, 8 KOs), 31, a Cuba native living in Miami, will be making his second title defense. He made his first defense in March, winning a unanimous decision against Sharif Bogere in Las Vegas.
The 28-year-old Linares (34-3, 22 KOs), a native of Venezuela who calls Japan a second home, won a featherweight world title in 2007 and defended it once before vacating it to move up in weight. He won a junior lightweight belt in 2008 and made one successful defense before being upset via first-round knockout by Juan Carlos Salgado in 2009.
Linares rebounded with four wins in a row but then got knocked out twice in a row, a bloody 11th-round stoppage to Antonio DeMarco for a vacant lightweight title in 2011 and a second-round shocker against Sergio Thompson in 2012.
Linares has won three fights in a row since those upsets to set himself up for the crack at Abril.