Pound-for-pound ace Vasyl Lomachenko says he accepted the challenge to face Lightweight king Jorge Linares in "less than two seconds".
Former two-weight World Champion Lomachenko will take on WBA and Ring Magazine Lightweight World Champion Linares in one of boxing’s most eagerly anticipated clashes of the year this Saturday night, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
Taking place at the iconic Madison Square Garden, the 30-year-old Ukrainian will be moving up to Lightweight and says the decision to take on the much respected Linares came very easy for him.
"I wanted to go up to the next weight category, 135 pounds, and fight only champions. Jorge Linares was available for this moment. That’s why I wanted a fight with him. I was asked if I wanted to fight Linares. It took me less than two seconds to accept the challenge," said Lomachenko.
"For me, it’s a big challenge because before this fight, I fought against guys who were the same size or a little bit smaller than me. Now, I want to feel the way [Guillermo] Rigondeaux felt when he fought me.
"He was smaller than I at that point. I am going to be smaller than my opponents now. I want to show people it’s not a big problem, that five pounds is not too big of a difference," he said.
Following a glittering amateur career, winning two consecutive Olympic gold medals along the way, Lomachenko will now be looking to become a three-weight World Champion this weekend.
Despite having only 11 fights as a professional his superior talent has shone through, often forcing his big-talking opponents to quit on their stools.
The experienced Linares, who has a record of 44 wins with 27 KOs and just three defeats, has also tried to get under his opponents skin, with Lomachenko calling on him to show up at the press conference following the fight, as looks to continue building his legacy.
"I like it [his trash talking]. Before the fight, all boxers talk trash, but after the fight, nobody comes to the press conference. After this fight, I want to see Jorge Linares at the press conference, and I want to hear what he has to say," Lomachenko said.
"This fight is the next step in my boxing history. We’re talking about my career. I built a ladder, and when I finish my boxing career, I want my ladder to be very strong and long," he added.
Jorge Linares v Vasyl Lomachenko will be live and exclusive on BoxNation at midnight on Saturday night.
Sky Customer Free Registration Offer: BoxNation subscription is £12 per month with free registration (normally £8) for Sky TV subscribers using offer code: CHAMPIONS