Ex-amateur star Vasyl Lomachenko will challenge Jorge Linares for the world lightweight title on May 12 when the Ukrainian moves up yet another division.
The pair agreed late on Monday to trade blows at Madison Square Garden in New York, with Linares putting his WBA ‘super’ belt on the line in an ESPN televised blockbuster.
Talks between Top Rank and Golden Boy had been ongoing for some time as speculation grew an agreement was close to being finalized.
Several reports Stateside have now confirmed this is indeed the case as Lomachenko bids for a third-weight world title on the back of turning pro at featherweight.
Claiming the WBO featherweight strap in just his third bout, Lomachenko has risen from one of the greatest fighters to ever don the unpaid vest to a pound for pound star in just elevens fights.
A solitary loss early on in his career against Orlando Salido was all but forgotten when ‘Hi-Tech’ secured a second-weight world title against Roman Martinez in 2016, and since then Lomachenko has gone from strength to strength.
Halting Guillermo Rigondeaux late last year in his famous ‘No-Maschenko’ triumph only served to further solidify the former Olympic gold medallist’s standing, which could be improved if he can take down the tough Venezuelan.
Linares defeated Mercito Gest last time out on the back of wins over Brits Luke Campbell and Anthony Crolla, stretching the 32 year-old’s unbeaten run to 13 contests.
‘El Nino de Oro’ has already achieved the feat Lomachenko is aiming to match and Linares could then head up to 140 pounds if he can inflict a second loss on his forthcoming rival.