LINARES GOES AGAIN
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