ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Golden Boy matchmaker Robert Diaz, here for Saturday night’s Bernard Hopkins-Sergey Kovalev light heavyweight unification fight, gave me a few updates on some fighters and fights he is working on:
• Lightweight contender Jorge Linares (37-3, 24 KOs), a former featherweight and junior lightweight titlist, will face Mexico’s Javier Prieto (24-7-2, 18 KOs) in a 12-rounder on Dec. 30 in Japan. Linares, who is from Venezuela but lives much of the year in Japan, is the mandatory challenger for titleholder Omar Figueroa. However, it remains to be seen whether Figueroa will continue to fight at 135 pounds or will move up to the 140-pound junior welterweight division for his next fight. Diaz said Linares very much wants to fight Figueroa.
• A featherweight fight between Houston’s Rocky Juarez (30-10-1, 21 KOs) and Robinson Castellanos (20-10, 13 KOs) of Mexico is in the works for a “Golden Boy Live” card (Fox Sports 1) in January. It will take place in Texas, probably San Antonio, Diaz said. Juarez, a one-time top contender, has won two fights in a row following a six-fight losing streak. Castellanos is coming off an impressive fifth-round knockout of Ronny Rios in an upset on Oct. 10.
• Japanese welterweight Yoshihiro Kamegai (24-2-1, 21 KOs) will face an opponent to be determined on Dec. 13 at the MGM in Las Vegas on the Devon Alexander-Amir Khan undercard. Kamegai made a lot of fans in a decision to Robert Guerrero in a hellacious fight of the year candidate on June 21 at the StubHub Center in Carson, California.