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Jack Catterall Retires Jorge Linares Following UD Win

Jack Catterall Retires Jorge Linares Following UD Win featured image
Jack Catterall (right) and Jorge Linares embrace following the Super Lightweight bout at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday October 21, 2023. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

British super lightweight contender Jack Catterall prevailed in his match against Venezuelan veteran Jorge Linares in his home country of the United Kingdom, with their bout serving as the main event for the night. The fight, held at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on October 21st, went the full twelve rounds and saw the Brit cruise to a unanimous decision win.

Jack Catterall (28-1, 13 KO’s), 28, had only recently made a return to boxing in May after being out for over a year due to injury and an inability to find a suitable opponent to face. Prior to his May fight, Catterall suffered his first career loss, by split decision, to former undisputed super lightweight champion Josh Taylor (19-1, 13 KO’s). The match between Catterall and Taylor had been highly contentious, with the former being regarded as the winner by many contemporaries within the sport.

Jorge Linares (47-9, 29 KO’s), 38, fought in what was his last professional boxing match according to his post-match interview but put up a worthy performance against a fighter that should have arguably been the undisputed champion of the 140 lbs division.

The bout between the two super lightweights was not for any titles, but the twelve rounds assigned to the match signified the importance. Both fighters came in with a lot to prove, with Catterall looking to establish himself as a worthy super lightweight contender, while Linares seemed eager to prove his salt after a boxing career that had spanned for over two decades.

Though the judges’ scores of 117-111 and 116-112 twice painted a match widely in favor of Catterall, the bout was noted for being quite competitive, with Linares refusing to relent throughout the entirety of the twelve rounds. Much of the earlier half of the round saw Linares display his experience and skills, which Catterall took several rounds to adapt to, culminating in a dominant fifth round for the Brit near the end, where Linares appeared close to being stopped.

However, the Venezuelan veteran was too tough to take out on the night, and Catterall was forced to draw out his full arsenal of tricks to ensure that he grabbed the victory. Though he clearly won most of the rounds, Linares seemed an ever-present threat in most of the rounds, and used a style that forced Catterall on the back foot most of the time.

Their fight became more of a chess match on the night as a result, with neither fighter hinging on just one style of fighting and the two occasionally switching roles between being the aggressor. Catterall edged out with his conditioning and underrated boxing ability, which seemed to trump even an experienced and skilled customer like Linares.

Jack Catterall Retires Jorge Linares Following UD Win image 1
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 21: Jack Catterall punches Jorge Linares during the WBA Inter-Continental Super Lightweight Title fight between Jack Catterall and Jorge Linares at M&S Bank Arena on October 21, 2023 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

After the full twelve rounds had passed, Catterall was announced the winner by unanimous decision, completing what was a solid performance on his part against a well-prepared and experienced opponent, Linares, who looked better than he had in his previous two matches, both of which ended in a loss.

The rest of the event was mostly filled with British prospects. Most significant was the co-main event between super bantamweights Peter McGrail (8-0, 5 KO’s) and Fran Mendoza (17-1, 7 KOs), who both fought a tough and competitive fight over the course of twelve rounds where McGrail was announced the winner by unanimous decision. Impressively, McGrail won against a more experienced and undefeated fighter in Mendoza, and seemed to make good on his budding potential by winning clearly, despite suffering a first-round scare where he nearly was stopped by Mendoza.

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 21: Peter McGrail punches Fran Mendoza during the Bantamweight between Peter McGrail and Fran Mendoza at M&S Bank Arena on October 21, 2023 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

The super featherweight bout between British prospect Aqib Fiaz (12-1, 1 KO’s) and British contender Reece Bellotti (17-5, 14 KO’s) ended in an upset, with Fiaz losing after being stopped in the eighth round, following the throwing in of the towel by his team. It was a surprising turn of events for Fiaz, who seemed to heavily struggle with the hard-hitting Bellotti, who overpowered Fiaz in the eighth round to score a knockdown.

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Reece Bellotti celebrates after winning during the Commonwealth Super Featherweight Title bout against Aqib Fiaz at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday October 21, 2023. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

Super lightweight contender Campbell Hatton (14-0, 5 KO’s), son of British boxing legend Ricky Hatton, who held numerous world titles throughout his professional boxing career, completed his fourteenth fight on the card but seems to still be learning the ropes after occasionally struggling against journeyman opponent Jamie Sampson (9-3, 0 KO’s), who was eventually disqualified in the eighth and final round for repeated holding, for which he was deducted a point in the fifth and sixth rounds.

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Campbell Hatton (left) and Jamie Sampson in action during the Super Lightweight bout at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday October 21, 2023. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)

Hatton’s progression through the professional ranks of boxing has not gone seamlessly, with him having fought over a dozen times without yet showing the ability to fight for even a British title as of yet, much less a world title. Given the stature of his father, Hatton is facing steep criticism for the level of opponents he’s still fighting, yet proves incapable of truly dominating. However, at 22, Campbell Hatton has all the time needed to grow into a genuine contender.

Following the event, Jorge Linares confirmed his retirement to Seconds Out during an interview.

I don’t care if I lost or not, I made a beautiful fight,Linares said following his match against Catterall.

The most important thing tonight was to finish by decision. No matter whether I lost or not, I’m super happy. I lost the fight, but I’m super happy to go home to my country, and the only thing I want to say is thank you to everybody.

No more boxing for me. I don’t need to fight anymore, so I’m super happy.

When asked to confirm whether that was his last fight, the Venezuelan responded with a resounding “yes“, confirming his retirement from the sport of boxing.

Jack Catterall Retires Jorge Linares Following UD Win image 5
Jorge Linares (M) calls an end to a 20-year professional boxing career that has seen him become a multi-division champion, amongst other notable achievements, which sees him go out of the sport as one of the best―if not the best―Venezuelan boxer to have ever graced the sport. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Following his latest match against Catterall, Linares ties the knot to a significant boxing career which saw him become a world champion four times over two decades of fighting.

The Venezuelan fighter also had some kind words for Jack Catterall, bestowing praise on the British contender despite having lost to him.

I was fighting against an amazing boxer,Linares admitted to Matchroom Boxing during another interview.

He has a lot of talent, it’s very difficult [because] he has a lot of power. He can be a world champion soon. Believe me. So if he continues like this in his career, he can be a champion very quick.

Jorge Linares also warned his recent opponent of what it would take for him to climb towards the top of the division.

I saw something in Jack tonight. I saw him a little tired after the eight or ninth round, so I think for his next fight, if he’s fighting someone like me, he needs to train much better,” Linares said.

But he can see that. He needs to train a little bit [more], but he has a lot of talent, and he has power, so that’s a good thing.