Fans at the Echo Arena in Liverpool had to be satisfied with a confident win lacking any thrills by super lightweight Jack Catterall of Chorley, England (28-1, 13 KOs) had little trouble with Jorge Linares of Tokyo via Venezuela (47-9, 29 KOs). Scorecards read closer than expected at 117-111, and 116-112 twice.
“I managed to do what I set out to do tonight, which is get the victory,” said Catterall. “He definitely still carries that power… The times when I did catch him I should have got at him more,” but Catterall said trainer Jamie Moore advised him not to overextend himself.
“Solid win. Linares is still dangerous. Sometimes I feel for the fans, they want a bit more excitement,” admitted Moore, but said he felt Linares was still dangerous and he didn't want Catterall “to get carried away.”
“These 12 rounds with Jorge will put me in good stead going forward. Jorge is a legend,” said Catterall.
Jack Catterall In Cruise Control
Although the judges saw Linares as competitive, Catterall’s footwork, timing, and speed gave the Venezuelan veteran few opportunities to let him deliver enough counterpunching to do any damage to Catterall. Catterall seemed content to put the fight into cruise control.
Catterall did unleash a few power shots including a hard left to the chin to rattle Linares, and went after him to see if he could capitalize, but Linares walked away each time, and the danger receded. Catterall turned up the heat at the end of the rounds, outthrowing and outlanding Linares, who couldn’t get into gear.
Linares doesn’t weather the punches like he used to, but all the same, he stood toe to toe with Catterall through all 12 rounds. Catterall was more mobile, slipping to the side out of the range of Linares to stop him from counterpunching.
The Liverpool audience was happy to see Catterall in control but wanted more action between the two as the fight went on.
Linares Calling It A Career
Linares has a tendency toward cuts, and he suffered a nasty gash to the inside of his right eye due to a fourth-round headbutt. Linares’ corner did a terrific job making the cut irrelevant.
Linares was satisfied with his performance. It looks to be his last, announcing he’d like to return to England, hoping to return not as a fighter next time, “perhaps a promoter.”
With a broad smile, Linares said, “I was excited with myself. The thing is about this fight, I’m fighting with a world champion. I respect him, I respect all the people in the UK. I came from three losses, three stupid losses. But to lose to this guy, I feel amazing. A world champion, the new generation. I’m happy to be in England, it’s my dream. I’m super happy with this fight.”
Gunning for Josh Taylor
Catterall left no doubt about who he wanted to see across the ring next. “He’s said some nasty things over the last 18 months. I think we’ve got a score to settle. I’m going to need a Josh Taylor, a Devin Haney, a Regis Prograis to bring out the best in me.” Catterall lost a narrow and controversial split decision to Taylor in February 2022.
Undercard Results from Liverpool
Reece Belotti (17-5, 14 KOs) of Watford, England, pulled off the upset victory over super featherweight prospect Aqib Fiaz of Oldham, England (12-1, 1 KO). Belotti dropped Fiaz in the eighth round and seized the moment, not letting Fiaz recover. Fiaz’s corner threw in the towel before the end of the round. Bellotti wore the same trunks as the night he beat Jason Cunningham for the Commonwealth Featherweight Title in October 2017 for luck, and it worked.
Peter McGrail of Liverpool (8-0, 5 KOs) put in ten rounds of work against Fran Mendoza of Colombia (17-1, 7 KOs), winning by decision with scores of 99-91 twice and 97-93. McGrail picks up a WBA Continental Super Bantamweight strap for his effort. McGrail is a promising prospect with a big following in the UK. Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn may bring McGrail to the U.S. to appear on an undercard and introduce him to American fans in the coming months.
Khaleel Majid of Bolton, England (12-0, 4 KOs) dispatched Tom Farrell of Liverpool (21-8, 5 KOs) in six rounds. Majid scored two knockdowns in the fifth round and a third with a body shot in the sixth, causing the fight to be waved off for the TKO victory.
Campbell Hatton of Hyde, England (14-0, 5 KOs) would have preferred to get a win on the cards but had to settle for a win via disqualification over Jamie Sampson of Sheffield, England (9-3). Sampson was repeatedly warned for holding with points taken in the fifth and sixth rounds, but the referee had enough and DQd Sampson to put everyone out of their misery.
William Crolla of Manchester (2-0, 1 KOs) got his first stoppage as a pro against Martin Shaw of Yorkshire (4-17-3, 1 KOs), landing a wicked right hook causing the referee to step in and stop the bout in round two. Crolla is the son of former British champion Anthony Crolla.