EXCLUSIVE: Why Ismael Salas could have made a difference in Lomachenko v Linares – Sam Jones

Chandler Waller 23/05/2018


A popular topic of conversation following the loss of Jorge Linares to Vasyl Lomachenko recently was the non-involvement of Ismael Salas. 

Giving his opinion and view on the result was friend to Linares, prominent member of the Hayemaker revolution and Joe Joyce manager Sam Jones.

Lomachenko vs. Linares proved to be a enormous result in terms of boxing at the elite level.

Both men were knocked down in the fight, with Linares struggling to get back up from a body shot in the tenth round – ending an enthralling fight.

Speculation mounted that a big part of the result was down to the coach of Linares, Salas being unable to be in the corner for his man due to scheduling conflicts.

Jones, who knows Linares well, gave his opinion on the matter exclusively in the aftermath as Salas was unable to commit to the Lomachenko fight.

“The way I look at it, its a hard fight with Salas,” Jones exclusively told World Boxing News.

“I genuinely rate Salas that highly that I gave Linares a real chance of winning that fight if Salas was in his corner.

“It’s like getting to the champions league final and sacking your manager, even though it wasn’t a sacking. It was more of a fact that Salas had to be in London and Linares was based in Vegas.

loma linares mikey3

Credit: Mikey Williams

“You can’t get rid of the coach who has got you to where you are.”

Linares partnered up with Salas to turn himself from a former world champion into an elite level fighter in 2012.

Salas improved Linares to the best version he could be, with Jones fully agreeing with that sentiment.

“When Linares went to Salas, he went there to be number two and Salas said; ‘are you crazy he’s going to be world champion’, then he made him appear in the P4P list.

“It’s ludicrous but Linares gave a good performance, I think he could have been even better if Salas was there with him.”

Jones who manages current Commonwealth heavyweight champ Joyce spoke of his admiration for Salas.

“Salas was already booked in to help Beibut Shumenov for his latest fight. If Joe [Joyce] didn’t think Salas was any good he wouldn’t be travelling to Kazakhstan to train with him, he’s that good, he’s a teacher.

“Linares has that great relationship with him, they speak in Japanese to each other in the corner, its a mad relationship what they’ve got going on and hopefully it can be rekindled.”

Jones also revealed he was in contact with Linares during fight week.

“All I did was ring Linares and wish him good luck and it is what it is but I’ve not really asked him on that front because I think he should know the answer to that situation.

“If something isn’t broken, you don’t fix it. But 100% with Salas in the corner it could have been something different and I’m sure Linares will be world champion again in the future.

“Maybe something good can come out of this though like if Lomachenko now fought Mikey Garcia and Linares fought Gervonta Davis, as they’re both great fights,” concluded Jones.

Chandler Waller is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerWaller