Jorge Linares outpunched, outworked and mostly dominated his pay-per-view-opening bout tonight against veteran Rocky Juarez, winning a wide unanimous decision on scores of 99-90 (twice) and 97-92. Bad Left Hook scored the fight 99-90 for Linares.
Linares (29-1, 18 KO) was sharper and crisper all night, landing a very good jab throughout the contest, as well as featuring a good left uppercut. One of those uppercuts put Juarez on the canvas at the tail end of the fifth round.
Juarez (28-7-1, 20 KO) was his usual self in this fight, opening up with his offense finally in the ninth and tenth rounds. But he was just too cautious and tentative before then, which has been the story of his career. It apparently can't be beaten into Juarez's head that he really does need to start fighting earlier in big bouts, because he just never does it. It's almost always the last two rounds where he starts throwing.
For Juarez, it's basically just another loss at this point. He is really nothing more than an opponent anymore -- a good test for someone like Linares, but also one that should be expected to lose. For Linares, it's probably the best win of his young career, and a good step forward for the Venezuelan. Linares has been tentatively scheduled to fight again in Japan in October, but we'll see about that.