Current WBC lightweight champion Dejan Zlaticanin has informed WBN that a stipulated mandatory fight with Jorge Linares is not on his mind at the moment.
The 32 year-old from Montenegro was duty-bound by the WBC to face the winner of the encounter between Linares and his recent opponent Anthony Crolla, although the latter pair are reportedly looking to rematch following an entertaining clash on Saturday night in Manchester.
That leaves Zlaticanin free to negotiate a deal to defend his green and gold belt against ex-world champion Mikey Garcia this fall in what should be a lucrative contest for the undefeated title holder.
“Crolla v Linares was a nice to watch but Crolla had the wrong tactics in the fight,” Zlaticanin exclusively told World Boxing News.
“He started slow in the fight and lost first four or five rounds and then was too late. Linares won the fight but was really close, but Crolla showed that he’s not a big puncher.”
Asked his thoughts on reports Linares v Crolla 2 was already in the pipeline for Golden Boy and Matchroom, Zlaticanin said: “I heard about that and if it happens I wish good luck to both but it’s further proof that Linares doesn’t want to fight me. He knows that I can finish the fight with one punch and he wants to stay away from me.”
He went on: “I was supposed to fight the winner, but like I said they don’t want to fight me so I don’t even think about them at the moment. I’m focused on my fight against Mikey Garcia as we wait for the date and some details.
“Nothing is signed yet but I hope soon it will be finished. I think mid or end of November will be the date.
“I have the most important belt in the sport of boxing so who ever want to take it from me he can come and try. I will fight everyone,” added Zlaticanin.