Jack Catterall defends his WBA Inter-Continental Super-Lightweight belt on Saturday night in Liverpool, with Jorge Linares the opponent for his first defence of the title.
The Manchester born fighter has bounced back strongly from last year’s controversial split-decision defeat to Josh Taylor. Having lost out on a world title on that occasion, he rallied to defeat Darragh Foley on his ring-return in May and will take a step back into world title contention should he be able to avoid defeat against an illustrious opponent.
Linares is a former multi-weight world champion, having held titles in the featherweight, super-featherweight and lightweight divisions throughout the course of an illustrious career. The Venezuelan, who fights out of Japan, is perhaps best known to UK fans for back-to-back world title wins against Anthony Crolla in 2016 & 2017 before also beating former Team GB Olympic gold medallist Luke Campbell, also in 2017.
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Jack Catterall vs Jorge Linares full card
- Jack Catterall vs. Jorge Linares; super lightweights
- Aqib Fiaz vs. Reece Bellotti for the vacant Commonwealth super featherweight title
- Peter McGrail vs. Fran Mendoza; super bantamweights
- Shabaz Masoud vs. Jose Sanmartin; super bantamweights
- Khaleel Majid vs. Tom Farrell; super lightweights
- Campbell Hatton vs. Jamie Sampson; super lightweights
- Paddy Lacey vs. Owen Kirk; middleweights
- Muhammad Mustafa Ali vs. Giulio Commerso; super bantamweights
- William Crolla vs. Martin Shaw; super welterweights
- Jack Turner vs. Adam Yahaya; bantamweights
Jack Catterall vs Jorge Linares fight preview
“He turns up, I get a call at 11:00 PM the night before, the fight’s off with no clear clarification on what was going on. So, it was a frustrating time because I’ve recently turned 30. I believe my style of fighting has given me longevity. I’ve been [a] professional [for] 10 years, but I also feel like I’ve not many miles on the clock on me….
“I know I’ve got a good run now ahead of me to be involved in some good fights and things like Taylor pulling out twice over like a 10-month period is not ideal for me.”
Inactivity is never ideal, but Saturday’s matchup with Linares, a former three-division champion, provides a better opportunity for Catterall to showcase his class ahead of what shapes up as a pivotal 2024.
Sure, Linares is past his peak. The Venezuelan is 38, has lost three fights in a row (the last two in Russia, one by TKO) and hasn’t scored a win since February 2020. On the other hand, Linares (47-8, 29 KOs) possesses a recognizable name in both the American and U.K. boxing scene, is a highly accomplished fighter and was able to stun Devin Haney late in their fight. He also knocked down Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2018.
“The motivation that I have right now is the same it was seven or eight years ago…,” said Linares. “We’re going to make a beautiful fight. This is the most difficult fight of my life. I need to win this fight. … This time is different because I come from a loss.”