Jack Catterall picked up a clear win over Jorge Linares in a DAZN main event from Liverpool, winning on scores of 116-112, 116-112, and 117-111 over 12 rounds.
The official scores were kinder to Linares than our unofficial card, which had Catterall winning 119-109, but with two rounds that perhaps could have gone Linares’ way.
It wasn’t really an unexpected outcome or showing from either fighter, as Catterall (28-1, 13 KO) did what he always does, boxing smart, staying with himself, and not making mistakes. And Linares (47-9, 29 KO) did what he’s been doing of late, too, with his fourth straight loss.
The fight was looking cagey in the early going, but once Catterall, 30, got going a bit around the fourth, it was pretty much his fight the rest of the way. The 38-year-old Linares, who isn’t exactly famous for an iron chin, did get wobbled a time or three, but Catterall usually caught him late in rounds, and the veteran was able to survive and go the distance.
“I managed to do what I set out to do tonight and that’s get the victory,” Catterall said. “I really enjoyed being in there tonight. He definitely still carries that power.
“The times where I did catch him I probably should have gone more, but I didn’t need to make any silly mistakes. These 12 rounds with Jorge are going to put me in good stead going forward to these bigger fights. He’s a legend.”
“I was fighting with a world champion. He’s a world champion. I respect him,” Linares said. “I don’t care if I lose or not. It’s how I lose, and who I lose to. I came off of three losses, three stupid losses, but to lose to this guy, I feel amazing, I feel happy. He’s a world champion, the new generation.”
Linares did not say he’d retire, but that it is on his mind.
“Let me think if I’ll continue my career or retire,” he said. “I don’t need to fight anymore, I’m super happy with this fight.”
Undercard results and highlights
- Peter McGrail UD-10 Fran Mendoza (97-93, 99-91, 99-91): Matchroom see McGrail (8-0, 5 KO) as potentially a near-future big draw in Liverpool, which will need a younger generation of headliners. He’s a good fighter, talented, skilled, but there’s still work to do and he’s 27. Mendoza (17-1, 7 KO) had nothing of real note on his record, with all of the Colombian’s fights having come in Spain before today, but he’s no incompetent empty record club guy, he gave McGrail some decent looks, and McGrail was the better man.
- Jack Turner KO-1 Adam Yahaya (2:27): Turner (3-0, 3 KO) sold a bunch of tickets for the show so he got to be pretty high up the bill. He blitzed through Yahaya (23-11-2, 10 KO) with ease. It didn’t prove much, Yahaya was a punching bag, but it gave Turner’s ticket-buying fans what they wanted. We’ll see over time if “El Terrier,” who turned pro in May and had his first two fights in Dubai, actually has anything or if this is all a mirage.
- Reece Bellotti RTD-8 Aqib Fiaz (3:00): Bellotti wins the vacant Commonwealth junior lightweight title with this one. Fiaz (12-1, 1 KO) was dropped in the eighth round and under major pressure to end it, with trainer Jamie Moore throwing the towel right at the bell to end the round. Referee Mark Lyson didn’t call it there, but Moore insisted on the stoppage in the corner, against Fiaz’s protests. Bellotti (17-5, 14 KO) just wound up having too much firepower, and Fiaz not enough.
- Khaleel Majid TKO-6 Tom Farrell (2:33)