Exclusive: Golden Boy’s Diaz expects Linares v Crolla II in first quarter of 2017

Phil Jay 07/10/2016


Robert Diaz says the injury keeping WBC Diamond lightweight champion out of action for the rest of the year will only mean a slight delay to his rematch with Anthony Crolla.

The World Boxing Council announced this week that a mandatory contest between Linares and green and gold belt holder Dejan Zlaticanin was on hold due the ailment as the Venezuelan focuses on a return with Crolla.

“Linares injured his right hand in the sixth round of the ferocious battle vs Crolla, and after analysing the situation and confirming with Dr. Jedediah Jones MD, it has been concluded that Linares will not be able to fight for some time,” said the WBC.

“The WBC is hereby confirming that Dejan Zlaticanin is free to make a voluntary title defense of his WBC lightweight title.”

That said defense is already in the pipeline, according to Zlaticanin, who informed WBN that he’s in talks to face two-weight world champion Mikey Garcia by the end of this year.

As the Montenegrin ploughs on with his own plans against Garcia, Diaz is confident Linares and Crolla will meet again following an entertaining twelve-round battle in Manchester on September 24.

“We have been told that Jorge needs six to eight weeks rest and then he will be cleared to prepare again,” Diaz exclusively told World Boxing News.

“There is a rematch clause against Crolla that is first, so we expect a February or March agreement with Matchroom for the second fight,” he added.