ON Saturday (October 10) in his native Venezuela, WBC lightweight champion Jorge Linares made swift work of tough but limited Mexican challenger Ivan Cano. Fighting at home for the first time in over five years, Linares put his effective body punching skills to work to get a fourth round stoppage win.

Dropping Cano, now 23-7-2, in the third round, Linares again sent the challenger down with a body shot in the next. On this occasion, Cano remained on one knee as he was counted out at the 58 second mark of the round. Linares is now 40-3(27) and his trainer, Ismael Salas, feels his fighter is at his peak of maturity and is ready to rule the lightweight division for some time to come.

Speaking exclusively with Boxing News, trainer Salas said Linares will soon look to attempt to add the WBA title to the WBC crown he already holds. Linares may have upset Kevin Mitchell by not granting the Londoner a return fight – after Linares and Mitchell went to war in a great fight back in May of this year; Linares winning via 10th-round stoppage – yet the 30-year-old “Golden Boy” might just end up facing another Brit next all the same.

“After a good rest, Jorge will go after the WBA title. We will wait for the rematch between Darleys Perez and your guy from the UK [Anthony Crolla] and then go for the unification,” Salas said.

Linares’ body punching was hugely efficient against Cano – and Salas said he and his fighter had been working on body punching in the gym – and it will be interesting to see if Linares can be as effective against either Perez or Crolla who, of course, meet in a return of their controversial July draw on November 21 in Manchester.

Perhaps, if Crolla gets the win this time, Linares’ next fight will be another visit to the UK.