“I feel happy,” says former world titlist Jorge Linares. “I’m trying to take care of myself. All of the time, inside the gym and outside of the gym. I try to have a very comfortable life.” At 38 years of age and with 55 fights on his resume, the man deserves a degree of comfort. At the moment, however, Linares will want to keep his edge while he prepares to face the 27-1 Jack Catterall this October in Liverpool. Caterrall is still looking to fully return from a 2022 junior welterweight championship loss to Josh Taylor. The Englishman has fought once since that controversial defeat, besting Darragh Foley last spring, but a win over a fighter of note like Linares will help Catterall truly get his career back on track.
Yet Linares, who has lost three fights in a row, is eager to get his own career back in gear “This is an amazing dream for me,” he says. “I always wanted to go back to the UK (where he’s successfully fought before) to make another amazing fight with the best 135lbs or 140lbs fighter. The best option was Jack Catterall. The motivation that I have right now is the same it was seven or eight years ago. This is the moment. This is the most important fight. I want to make an amazing show for the people to enjoy, and to enjoy myself. We’re going to make a beautiful fight. This is the most difficult fight of my life. I need to win this fight.”
To be sure, Linares, who has won world titles in three weight divisions, exudes confidence. “I feel like I’m a world champion (again) right now,” he says. “I need to come to the UK to defend all my belts. This is the responsibility that I have right now, the pressure that I have right now. This time is different because I come from a loss. After this fight something big is coming for me. That’s why it’s very important for me to win this fight.”
Catterall, on the other hand, is determined to earn the glory many feel was unfairly kept from him when he fought Taylor. There’s no doubt, however, that Catterall respects his veteran opponent. “I think we all know Linares is a future Hall of Famer,” he says, “and I wouldn’t show the disrespect to any opponent by talking about any other fights right now. I said to Sam and the team around me, we don’t talk about any fights – it’s 100% focus on Linares. We pay him that respect and we train hard to win that fight on October 21st. I think that’s why the fight is exciting – Linares has been over to our turf, my turf, and always picked up the victories. I’m next up now to defend our turf and pick up the win.”