Linares and Matthysse grace The Forum on Jan 27
Golden Boy Promotions will present Lucas Matthysse (38-4, 35 KOs) and Jorge Linares (43-3, 27 KOs) on the same card at The Forum in Inglewood, California on January 27 as the first event on HBO’s ‘Boxing After Dark’ for 2018.
Philippines native Mercito Gesta (31-1-2, 17 KOs) is a dubious choice of opponent for Linares who is set to make a third defense of his WBA World Lightweight title. Gesta will be facing his stiffest competition since stepping up against Miguel Vazquez in 2012 for the IBF World Lightweight title. Gesta took a decisive loss in a fight that was considered a significant advancement in quality of opponent, and is 5-0-1 since that defeat against undistinguished competition. Linares returns to The Forum four months after scraping the win from mandatory challenger Luke Campbell at the same venue and is looking forward to potentially schooling Gesta stating, "I know that Gesta has speed and power, but he hasn't been at this level before, and on Jan. 27, he'll know what it's like to face a world champion."
The co-main event sees Welterweight contender Lucas Matthysse paired up with undeafeated Thai boxer, Tewa Kiram (38-0, 28 KOs) for the vacant WBA World Welterweight title. This will be Kiram’s first venture outside of his native Thailand to fight a significantly more difficult opponent, despite his notable record. Kiram is excited for the opportunity to become the first Thai fighter to hold a welterweight title, "I have never been defeated, and I am fully confident that I will return to Thailand with the WBA welterweight world championship around my waist." Matthysse is also looking forward to his return to the ring after his last bout against Emmanuel Taylor resulted in a fifth-round knockout victory following his move up to welterweight expressing, "I am honored to be able to fight for a world championship in just my second fight at welterweight. I understand I am facing a younger, undefeated opponent, but I am confident that 'The Machine' will emerge victorious."
Jorge Linares vs Mercito Gesta and Lucas Matthysse vs Tewa Kiram will be televised on HBO’s ‘Boxing After Dark’ on January 27, 2018 at 10.20pm ET/PT.
Feature Photo: Sky Sports