Jorge Linares injured, Dejan Zlaticanin expects vacant title shot

Esther Lin / Stephanie Trapp

WBC lightweight title holder Jorge Linares has suffered a broken hand meaning the Venezuelan’s mandatory title defense against Dejan Zlaticanin has been called off.

Linares and Zlaticanin had agreed terms for the fight, although a date and venue had not been set in stone. Now the champion is facing a lengthy spell out of action leaving the already patient challenger in limbo once again.

“I heard that Jorge Linares broke his right hand and he’ll be out for long time,” Zlaticanin told World Boxing News.

“I think he’s avoid me and he’s scared to get in the ring with me. He’s a little scared man. I’m so disappointed because we won’t get to fight and I wanted to show the world how this three times world champion is going down.”

Asked what course of action he expects to be taken against Linares, the Montenegrin added: “I expect that WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman will make a decision to strip him of the title and give me a chance to fight for the vacant title.”

Undefeated Zlaticanin earned a high ranking with the WBC by defeating ex-world champion Ricky Burns in  the UK back in June 2014. The 31 year-old southpaw then followed that up with a final eliminator victory over Ivan Redkach and has been waiting eight months for his expected shot.

Should Zlaticanin be granted his wish and Linares be stripped, Italian veteran Emiliano Marsili is next in line to step up and could be drafted in by the World Boxing Council.