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Jorge Linares to face Carlos Morales on February 14th

Linares is 2-2 in his last four, falling to Vasiliy Lomachenko and Pablo Cesar Cano

Demetrius Andrade v Artur Akavov - Weigh-in Photo by Edward Diller/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

As first reported by Steve Kim on Boxing Day, Jorge Linares’ co-main event slot on the February 14th Ryan Garcia-Francisco Fonseca DAZN card will see him face former Garcia foe Carlos Morales.

Linares (46-5, 28 KO) is returning to lightweight after a disastrous stint at 140 saw him mauled by Pablo Cesar Cano in a single round. The 34-year-old, who’d won 13 straight before giving Vasiliy Lomachenko one of his toughest fights since Orlando Salido, was last seen winning a get-well decision over Al Toyogun in September on a nondescript Japanese card.

“I’m more than ready to start the year off strong against Carlos Morales,” said Jorge Linares. “2019 was a difficult year, but I’ve been through ups and downs in my career before, and I’ve always come back. On February 14, I’m going to show why I became a four-time world champion by scoring a dominant win. After that, I hope to fight for a world title very soon.”

Morales (19-4-4, 8 KO) is better known for his losses than his wins; falling to but giving good accounts of himself against Alberto Machado, Garcia, and Rene Alvarado. He forced Garcia to settle for a majority decision and the Alvarado loss has aged exceptionally well.

“It’s an honor to share squared circle with a three-division world champion,” said Carlos Morales. “The only way to get to the top of the division is to fight the best. That’s where I want to be, so on February 14 the fans will see me at my very best.”

The ultimate plan is to pit Garcia against Linares; this matchup doesn’t look fit to throw a wrench in those plans, but Linares is notoriously fragile, so who knows.

Alexis Rocha, Blair Cobbs, and Oscar Negrete are set to appear as well, among others.

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