A composed Jack Catterall cruised to a unanimous decision victory over Jorge Linares in Liverpool.
Catterall is still bouncing back from being perhaps the most hard done by fighter in recent memory. The contentious loss to Josh Taylor continues to define his career, but he moves forward determined to rewrite that bio.
Venezuela’s Linares is a three-weight world champion and rightly celebrated all time great fighter. He touched down in the UK four for four against British fighters, and fans will remember an extremely spirited effort against Vasily Lomachenko.
Unfortunately, his last three have been losses, and a previous step up to 140lbs saw him knocked out in the first round by Pablo Cesar Cano. At 38, Linares and the entire Echo Arena knew this could be his farewell fight.
Catterall came out fidgety in his southpaw stance, feinting and looking to time the speedy Linares, who was attempting to win the battle of the lead foot before committing to any strong attacks.
More shots landed in the second, but it was still cagey with good movement shown by both men. Linares cut slightly on the forehead from a head clash.
The away fighter feinted and twitched wildly in the third in an attempt to draw Catterall in, but the Brit stayed smart, throwing to the body and moving out of range.
Catterall continued to control things in the fourth, and landed some more substantial shots on a now-frustrated Linares being forced to fight someone else’s fight.
The Chorley man’s reactions so quick to ride shots or spin out of the way entirely, and a well-time back hand wobbled Linares onto the ropes in the fifth. He managed to make the end of the round on his feet, and fought well in the sixth without much danger.
— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) October 21, 2023
Linares landed some better right hands in the seventh, but Catterall was in no trouble. The crowd asked for more action in the eighth, and the home fighter delivered with a nice combination on the bell.
Despite being hurt earlier one, Linares wanted more of a fight. Catterall would not oblige, keeping his cool and moving towards a shutout regardless of what his opponent – or the crowd – may demand.
It followed the same pattern through the championship rounds and until the final bell. A disciplined and patient performance from Catterall against a man who has been in with some of the very best. 117-111, 116-112, 116-112.