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Linares beats Velazquez, wants DeMarco rematch

Jorge Linares boxing photo and news imageBy Dan Ambrose: Former featherweight and super featherweight world champion Jorge Linares (32-3, 20 KO’s) really struggled last Saturday night in defeating veteran Hector Velasquez (52-18-3, 35 KO’s) by a 10 round unanimous decision by the scores of 100-89, 98-91 and 97-91. The lopsided scores didn’t tell the whole story of the fight, however, because Linares took a lot of heavy shots in the fight against the hard hitting 37-year-old Velazquez and didn’t look impressive in winning the fight.

In the early rounds, Linares fought well and was able to elude many of Velazquez’s shots. However, from the 4th round on, Velazquez was able to catch Linares up against the ropes and pound him with heavy shots to the head.

Linares was forced to stay on the move the entire 10 rounds due to the heavy pressure exerted on him by Velazquez. Linares’ main problem is that he lacked the power to keep Velazquez off of him. Each time Linares would stop, Velazquez was right there to punish him on the inside with heavy shots. Velazquez was clearly the better fighter on the inside, as Linares looked lost when he was in close.

By the end of the fight both of Linares’ eyes were badly swollen and his face reddened from all the shots he took from Velazquez.

In some way you can’t blame Linares for not looking sensational in this fight because Velazquez came into the fight with a ton of experience against a number of top quality fighters. Here’s just a sample of the types of guys that Velazquez has fought in 19-year pro career: Mickey Bey Jr, Edwin Valero, Vitali Tajbert, Bobby Pacquiao, Rocky Juarez, Guty Espadas Jr., Orlando Soto, Israel Vazquez, Kevin Kelly, Robbie Peden, Carlos Rios, Saul Duran, Joksan Hernandez.

After the fight Linares said “I’d love to fight DeMarco next year.” Linares also said he plans on fighting in December if possible depending on how well the small cut he received above his left eye heals by then.

All in all, it wasn’t a good performance from Linares. Velazquez was able to hit him too often and he didn’t have the power to keep the guy off. Had this been DeMarco or Adrien Broner in there with Linares I think he’d have been in trouble. Linares’ skin just seems too fragile for his own good and his power isn’t good enough to keep the better fighters off of him. If Linares was wise he’d think about moving back down to featherweight or super featherweight where he might have a little better chance against the lighter punchers.

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