Jack Catterall denies Jorge Linares is a gimme fight on Saturday

By Boxing News - 10/19/2023 - Comments

By Charles Brun: Jack Catterall insists his fight with fading former three-division world champion Jorge Linares isn’t a gimme-level opponent for him in their twelve round headliner this Saturday, October 21st, at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. The event will be shown live on DAZN.

It’s understandable why the boxing community considers this fight a textbook cherry-pick for the former 140-lb world title challenger Catterall (27-1, 13 KOs). For Catterall to deny this is a tomato can is hilarious, as he must really think the fans were born yesterday.

Instead of Catterall fighting a killer at 140, he’s selected the washed Linares, who has looked gawdawful in recent fights.

There are two main reasons for this perception. Firstly, Linares is 38 years old and no longer the young phenom he used to be. Secondly, he has lost his last three fights and has not won since 2020.

With Catterall fighting this level of opposition, it’s difficult to take him seriously as a threat to winning a world title against any of the current champions at 140, even against the paper belt holder Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero.

Better options for Catterall:

  • Gary Antuanne Russell
  • Sandor Martin
  • Arnold Barboza Jr.
  • Richardson Hitchins
  • Jose Ramirez
  • Shohjahon Ergashev
  • Ryan Garcia
  • Jamaine Ortiz

Catterall missed his window when he lost a controversial decision to former undisputed light welterweight champion Josh Taylor. That’s a fight that Catterall should have won against a faded, weakened champion, but it didn’t happen.

Now, there are no beatable champions out there for Catterall, and there are many contenders in the weight class with arguably more talent than him. At this point, Catterall’s level pretty much is fighting guys like 38-year-old Linares (47-8, 29 KOs), and he might even lose to him.

Linares not a gimme

“He’s undefeated over here. The British fans know him well. He’s been over here a number of times, and he’s boxed [Luke] Campbell out in the States. So it’s exciting, and there’s a lot riding on this fight for both of us,” said Jack Catterall to iFL TV about his fight this Saturday night against Jorge Linares in Liverpool.

It’s a fact that Linares is an easy opponent for Catterall, and there’s no denying that. While Catterall may try to insist that he’s not facing an easy mark, it’s clear that he’s being pitted against someone who isn’t considered one of the top contenders at the 140 weight class.

Linares lost to Pablo Cesar Cano by a first round knockout in his only 140-pound bout in 2019. He then returned to the 135-pound division, where he has struggled.

“I expect an explosive Linares. I think he’s going to come and bring it,” said Catterall. “People have asked me how I’ve prepared for this fight, knowing his age and knowing his last couple of defeats.

As a fighter, you prepare for the best version of your opponent and prepare for the Linares that’s dropped Lomachenko that’s won these world title fights. I’d be silly not preparing for every fight like it’s a world title

“You only have to look at the support the fights got Saturday night,” said Linares when told that the boxing public sees his fight against the 38-year-old Linares as a ‘gimme’ due to his advanced age and the fact that he hasn’t won a contest in three years since 2020.

“Like I said, Linares has been over here before, so the British fans know him. I’ve been following his training, and he looks like he’s bang up for the fight. So, say what you want about three losses; he’s been a professional for 20 years.

“He’s a three-weight world champion, and he’s a legend of the sport, but he’s back with [trainer Ismael] Salas. So he looks like he’s bang up for it, so I’m paying no mind to people who are talking about his last couple of defeats.

“I know that there’s a genuine threat there Saturday, but I’m looking to come and do it. It just puts me one step closer to these big fights,” said Catterall when asked what the Linares fight does for his career.

Jack wants rematch over a title shot

“You’ll probably ask me, and they’ve already asked me again. Haney-Prograis is coming up in December,” said Catterall. “The [Josh] Taylor rematch, and there are other fighters at 140. There’s a lot of good fights to be made. So I’ve said it all during training camp.

“You can’t talk to me about any of these fights. I’ve got to do a good job on Saturday against Linares, then it puts me in that picture. We can have these conversations about what fights are there to be made.”

Catterall’s confidence has gone out the window

It seems pointless for Catterall to be in the title picture if he only wants a rematch with Josh Taylor. This suggests that Catterall might not be confident in his chances against any of the champions, and would rather fight Taylor, who is past his prime and just recently lost badly to Teofimo Lopez. Charles Brun doesn’t see any benefit in fighting Taylor at the moment.

“You know what? It’s personal between me and Josh, and I think the fans the fans are eager to see that fight. So if we come through Saturday, that’s definitely an option,” said Catterall when asked if he’d prefer a rematch with Josh Taylor or a title shot against the winner of WBC light welterweight champion Regis Prograis & Devin Haney.

“I would love to beat him [Taylor] up again, but again, I’ve not had the luxury or the pleasure of having a world title. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on the world title fights, and obviously, that’s something I want to achieve in my career,” said Catterall.

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