It is not typical nowadays for boxers to rush back into the ring after suffering a loss in a big fight, but Jorge Linares (44-4, 27 KOs), the three-time world champion from Venezuela, will return to action Saturday night to face Abner Cotto (23-3, 12 KOs) in a Junior Welterweight bout as the main event of Golden Boy Promotions’ card at Fantasy Springs Casino In Indio, California to be streamed live on facebook.com/RoundByRoundBoxing/videos/473054326525424/?__xts__=68.ARCopSXFYZRHN2AHcPOyypMaJM9iOa6rzicIdavrBCGjzbbdXCAvfA2vRnYwD0jL7xdkQU3mkf9ZEAgbm96DsHevTE1S3WtPYXJvjK5sGqp71Rel9b1EkOaJSj4rpx3mIgSDOJGC0fNeNJhOCgj9tY8aqvtYe8DW_ytRL7RShBCByshXVQzy&__tn__=-R”>Facebook.com.
It has been only four months since Linares was stopped by Vasiliy Lomachenko by a body shot in the 10th round at Madison Square Garden. After a short break, Linares will campaign at 140 pounds for the first time.
“I prepared well for Lomachenko and after that fight I took a month off,” said Linares in a recent interview with Round By Round Boxing in his native Spanish and translated by Gabriel Rivas. “I forgot about that fight and I forgot about everything for one month. But, I’m 33 years old and I don’t want to wait much longer. I want to take advantage of everything boxing has to offer me right now and the most important thing is that I feel great.”
Linares is so motivated that depending on how he feels following the bout with Cotto, he may nudge the team at Golden Boy to get him back in the ring by December or January.
“The time for me to move up in weight is right now,” exclaimed Linares. “I fought at 135 for many years and winning a belt is my goal and motivation. I don’t think I will get an opportunity any time soon at 135 because Lomachenko wants to unify and no way his team wants to give me a rematch.”
Linares shocked everyone at The Garden when he dropped Lomachenko with a right hand in the sixth round. It was the first time the seemingly unhittable Lomachenko
“It’s boxing and I knew anything could happen, but I was not trying to knock him out,” explained Linares. “I knew Lomachenko was too experienced and too talented. But, he ran into my fist. Trust me if I had placed the right hand where I need it and measured him and got him then he would not get up. He went down from running into my hand and the round saved him.”
That was Linares’ first fight without longtime trainer Ismael Salas, who could not be with Linares for the Lomachenko bout. For his first bout at 140 pounds, Linares has reunited with Jorge Zerpa, who was in Linares’ corner in 2007 when he won his first world title in Las Vegas defeating Oscar Larios.
“The entire experience with Lomachenko was a unique one for me,” reflected Linares. “From the weigh in to the day of the fight nothing was like I expected. I was alone pretty much. I didn’t have a head trainer. All of the strategy you saw was my own. I learned however that I had the capacity to beat him and I almost did and that’s why I’m so motivated to continue and to win one more championship.”
Tune in to Round By Round Boxing’s official Facebook page to watch Jorge Linares take on Abner Cotto tonight starting at 9:00 pm ET.
Header photo by Esther Lin