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JORGE LINARES may have al­ready held a world ti­tle at three weights, and boxed at top level for over a decade, but the 33-year-old Venezue­lan isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet.

Four months ago he took part in one of the year’s big­gest fights, de­fend­ing his WBA light­weight belt against Va­syl Lo­machenko. Linares scored a knock­down in the sixth be­fore him­self be­ing dropped and stopped in round 10 by the bril­liant Ukrainian south­paw.

That ended a win­ning streak of 13, dur­ing which Linares im­pressed all with his skills and sharp punch­ing. But Jorge showed he still has plenty left – which is why on Satur­day (Septem­ber 29) the Golden Boy-pro­moted fighter comes back with a 10-rounder against Puerto Rico’s Ab­ner Cotto [inset] at Fan­tasy Springs Casino in In­dio, Cal­i­for­nia (live on Face­book Watch). Cotto, 31, rep­re­sents a de­cent-but-not­too-tough comeback for Linares, 44-4 (27). The man from Caguas (cousin of the great Miguel Cotto) has lost three times against 23 wins, of which 12 have come in­side the dis­tance – sug­gest­ing he is not a huge puncher. That’s re­as­sur­ing for Linares, for if Jorge does have a weak­ness, it’s his punch re­sis­tance; all his de­feats have come be­fore the fi­nal bell. Ab­ner will have a two-inch height ad­van­tage (5ft 10ins to 5ft 8ins) and he has been box­ing re­cently at su­perlightweight, beat­ing Sa­muel San­tana last time out in May with a fourth-round stop­page. Yet given that two of Cotto’s set­backs have come via KO down at lower weights (in one round by Omar Figueroa, in five by Javier For­tuna), it seems likely that Linares will pick him apart steadily for a stop­page win in about eight.


DE­TER­MI­NA­TION: Linares is look­ing to bounce back from his rst loss in over six years

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