Featured image: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing.
Jack Catterall has called for a second fight with arch rival Josh Taylor after comprehensively outboxing Jorge Linares in Liverpool on Saturday night.
The British super-lightweight prevailed a wide winner after twelve rounds on Merseyside as all three judges scored in Catterall’s favour (117-111, 116-112 twice).
Linares predictably looked a shadow of his former self and, despite his status as a former three-weight world champion, was unable to match Catterall’s output on the night.
The latter dominated with the jab but also looked as though he would force a stoppage, rocking the Venezuelan in rounds five and eight.
A rugged Linares saw the fight out however but there was little doubt over whose hand would be raised upon the sounding of the final bell.
“He’s done it three times before over here. I’ve managed to do what I set out to do tonight and that’s to get the victory,” Catterall told DAZN post-fight.
“There’s been a lot of respect. I wouldn’t ever try to be nobody I’m not, we had a respectful build-up. The respect was there but tonight was business.”
Taylor rematch set for early 2024?
Attention turned to a potential rematch with Scotland’s Taylor who won a controversial split-decision over Catterall in February last year.
The pair have engaged in several verbal exchanges since that night in Glasgow and Catterall remains resolute in his pursuit of a second run against his rival.
“Taylor, where are you?”, he simply asked. “Let’s have it, you shithouse.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn also expressed his desire to see a Taylor rematch and says talks will begin for a potential fight between the pair during the first quarter of next year.
“Everyone wants the build-up that’s got something in it, that’s got a narrative and that spite. And I think Jack Catterall needs that spite,” Hearn said.
“Tonight was a masterful performance but almost too much respect for Jorge Linares who has been a legend of the sport. There will be no respect for Josh Taylor.
“We’ll speak to Top Rank [Taylor’s promoter] to see if we can try and get it done. For me, I want to see Jack Catterall rematch Josh Taylor in early 2024.”
Linares hints at retirement in fight’s aftermath
The immediate aftermath also saw three-weight division champion Linares allude to possible retirement from the sport at the age of 38.
After winning world titles at featherweight, super-featherweight and lightweight respectively, Linares has now lost his last four fights by wide margins.
The Venezuelan says he can however take solace in this latest defeat and expressed his pride at sharing a ring with Catterall in the North-West.
“I was excited with myself [during the fight with Catterall]. I was thinking I’m fighting with a world champion, he’s a world champion,” Linares told DAZN.
“I respect him, I respect all the people in the UK. I’ve won here three times, I don’t care if I lose or not. I care how I can lose and with who I can lose. To lose with this guy, I feel amazing and happy.
“Let me think right now to see if I continue my career or if I retire. I don’t need to fight anymore.”
McGrail hands Mendoza first loss while Bellotti stops Fiaz on undercard
Peter McGrail marked his return to the ring after an eight month absence to hand Colombia’s Fran Mendoza his first professional defeat.
The Liverpudlian super-bantamweight appeared rocked by a right-hand in the first before dazzling with fleeting hand speed and footwork to run out a deserving winner via unanimous decision.
Reece Bellotti also claimed the vacant Commonwealth super-featherweight title when he dropped Aqib Fiaz in the eighth.
Fiaz’ trainer Jamie Moore decided to withdraw his fighter from the fight with the win also making Bellotti mandatory challenger for Liam Dillon‘s British title at 130lbs.
Liverpool bantamweight Jack Turner also secured his third consecutive first-round stoppage in his third pro outing.
Tanzania’s Adam Yahaya was unable to cope with the pace set by the Liverpudlian and was counted out after he was forced to the canvas by a Turner barrage in the opening session.
Bolton’s Khaleel Majid also stopped Liverpool’s Tom Farrell in six rounds at super-lightweight.