Talks begin for unification bout between Mikey Garcia, Jorge Linares

Golden Boy Promotions president Eric Gomez and lightweight world titleholder Mikey Garcia are scheduled to meet in person on Wednesday in an effort to make a title unification fight between Garcia and Jorge Linares for early next year, Gomez told ESPN on Tuesday.

"I want to do the fight. It's a fight Linares wants and it's a fight Mikey would also like, so we are going to talk about it. We're ready to make the fight. It's a great fight and a fight I think a lot of fans would like to see," Gomez said.

Gomez and Garcia, who is a promotional free agent, previously engaged in discussions when Garcia called out the Golden Boy-promoted junior middleweight world titleholder Miguel Cotto, who was looking for an opponent for Dec. 2 for what Cotto says will be the final fight of his legendary career.

Garcia said he was willing to move up in weight for the fight with Cotto, but even though Golden Boy made a serious offer, Garcia eventually backed away because he did not want to sign a multifight agreement with Golden Boy to get the bout. That deal also would have included a fight with Linares, who is promoted by Golden Boy.

Cotto wound up signing to defend his title against Sadam Ali, and Garcia was left without a date to fight on for the rest of the year.

In January, Garcia had won a world title in his third weight division, when he knocked out Dejan Zlaticanin in the third round for a lightweight title; that was followed by a near-flawless performance in a one-sided decision win against former four-division titlist Adrien Broner in a junior welterweight fight in July.

Linares (43-3, 27 KOs), 32, of Venezuela, who also has won world titles in three divisions, retained his 135-pound title by split decision against British mandatory challenger Luke Campbell on Sept. 23 and said after the bout that he also wanted a unification fight.

Gomez directed a recent social media post to Garcia (37-0, 30 KOs), 29, of Ventura, California, indicating that the company has had a change of heart.

Gomez said that Golden Boy would no longer require Garcia to sign with the company to get a fight with one of its top fighters, even though it would very much like to promote Garcia, one of the top fighters in the world.

"Mikey Garcia, if you are serious about wanting to fight Jorge Linares -- call me. No options, no extra fights. Straight up, no excuses," Gomez wrote.

Garcia responded: "No need to put it out [in] public. You also have my number. I'll call you later bro."

Gomez said he eventually called Garcia on Monday and they spoke and arranged the meeting.

"I want to make the fight. Mikey knows that," Gomez told ESPN. "No options, no futures. Let's just make the fight."