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Golden Boy signs super-featherweight champ Linares

September 19, 2009 | 11:47 am

It was described as a "major announcement," but the public revelation that Golden Boy Promotions has signed Venezuelan Jorge Linares brought some media center vets to ask, "We got up for this?"

Oscar De La Hoya jokingly patted his stomach as if to show he was in fighting shape before addressing the reporters, and Bernard Hopkins was nearby but never opened his mouth into the microphone -- saving everyone several minutes -- to address his return fight.

Instead, Linares, who's been fighting in Japan under a different promoter and recently captured the World Boxing Assn. super-featherweight title, spoke about his desire to "fight whenever [against] whoever they put in front of me."

Linares is 27-0 with 18 KOs and has an Oct. 10 date in Tokyo against Juan Carlos Salgado.

One of the more intriguing opponents afterward could be knockout specialist Edwin Valero.

"This is a special fighter," De La Hoya said, noting that Linares' nickname, "El Nino de Oro," is Spanish for "Golden Boy."  "We can put him in there against anybody, and there are some good fighters in his weight class. We know he's ready."

And just to clear it up again, De La Hoya announced: "I'm never fighting anyone again. Ever. Except Shaq in a rematch" of the recent ABC special "Shaq Vs." De La Hoya, which De La Hoya "won."

--Lance Pugmire