Jack Catterall Turns Away Faded Jorge Linares in Liverpool


By Arne K. Lang

Youth prevailed in Liverpool tonight where Jack Catterall won a clear-cut, 12-round decision over 38-year-old globetrotting warhorse Jorge Linares. In a rather dull fight, Catterall prevailed by scores of 117-111 and 116-112 twice.

Catterall, from Chorley in County Lancashire, improved to 28-1 (13). The lone defeat came at the hands of Josh Taylor on Taylor’s turf in Glasgow, Scotland. Taylor was then the undisputed champion at 140 pounds and to say the decision was unpopular would be an understatement. The rematch, postponed twice, eventually died on the vine.

Linares, a Venezuelan who had 19 of his early pro fights in Japan, was a three-division world title-holder. Known for his craftiness, he acquired belts at 126, 130, and 135. Before tonight, he was 3-0 in British rings including a masterclass in his second meeting with Anthony Crolla. However, that’s yesterday’s news. With the defeat tonight, he has lost five of his last seven, reducing his record to 47-9. Having answered the bell for 366 rounds, Jorge Linares would be wise to retire.

Catterall, 30, hopes to re-kindle a match with Josh Taylor, but a match against the winner of the forthcoming fight between Devin Haney and Regis Prograis would appear to be a stronger possibility.

Other Bouts of Note

Local fan favorite Peter McGrail outclassed Colombia-born Spaniard Fran Mendoza in a 10-round super bantamweight contest. The judges had it 97-93 and 99-91 twice.

At five-foot-seven, former Tokyo Olympian McGrail (8-0, 5 KOs) had a four-inch height advantage. It was the first pro loss for Mendoza who was 17-0 heading in.

Watford super featherweight Recce Bellotti, whose career had been sputtering along, was too strong for Catterall stablemate Aqib Fiaz who came in undefeated but with only one knockout to his credit in 12 pro fights. In round eight, Bellotti (17-5, 14 KOs) stunned Fiaz with a hard left hook. After taking a knee, Fiaz was bombarded with a barrage of punches that motivated his corner to throw in the towel. The bell rang before the referee acknowledged it, but Fiaz wasn’t allowed to continue.

Photo credit: Mark Robinson / Matchroom
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