SAN DIEGO, Calif., September 23, 2017 – Lineal lightweight champion Jorge Linares of Venezuela (43-3, 27 KOs) successfully defended his title against Luke Campbell of Great Britain (17-2, 14 KOs) by majority decision in Los Angeles Saturday. Scores were 115-112, 114-113 for Linares; 115-113 for Campbell.
From the opening bell, the hand speed and power of Linares were on full display. He caught Campbell with a hard straight right at the end of a beautiful three punch combination to put Campbell on the canvas and produced a cut under the right eye, the first cut of Campbell’s professional career.
Sometimes a knockdown shakes up a fighter, but other times it wakes up a fighter. Campbell started landing more power punches on Linares and catching some of Linares’ shots that landed in previous rounds by the fifth round. The fight was suddenly a lot more competitive looking.
Through the middle rounds, fans were treated to a demonstration of boxing skills. Campbell closed the distance punch by punch. At the end of the ninth, Campbell snapped Linares’ head around with his own impressive combination. To this point, Campbell had caught up and passed Linares in punches landed. Linares still had the faster hands, but Campbell had lost his jitters and seemingly his fear of Linares.
Linares is a veteran, and a veteran develops a feeling for how a fight is going no matter what a trainer tells him. Linares knew he had to return to his early form in the fight. It’s a tribute to Linares’ conditioning he was able to do it, winning the final rounds and securing the victory in a competitive, compelling fight.
“He’s a tough opponent, many people said he was very easy, but there is a reason he is an Olympic champion,” said Linares. “Truthfully, I fought very well. In the fifth round I started to box him a little bit because I didn’t want to get hurt.
“In the tenth I wanted to knock him out, but I knew it was going to go the distance. In the 12th I wanted to knock him out. In the 12th I let the dogs out,” said Linares.
It was a lot to ask from Campbell, and he nearly delivered. “No one can ever doubt my heart,” said Campbell. “I got off to a rocky start, he hit me with a nice clean shot in the second round. He caught me in the eye and cut it, I wasn’t dazed or anything … I had double vision in one eye for the rest of the fight.
“From there I thought I outclassed him, I thought I won the fight. From there I thought I outclassed him. I didn’t think he was landing any shots whatsoever. I was capturing all the clean shots,” added Campbell.
“A lot of people saw the fight a lot closer than it was because in the last couple of rounds, he was a lot more aggressive and came forward a lot more,” said Linares.” When I first started off, I felt very fast, the only thing he had over me was that he was a very technical fighter, he was very tall and had long arms. I had to adjust to his style throughout the fight.”
CompuBox stats showed how close it was. Linares landed 140 of 414 total punches (34 percent); Campbel 141 of 524 punches (27 percent). Campbell led in power punches (97/297, 33 percent) over Linares (76/186, 39 percent) but Linares led with 64 of 218 jabs versus 44 of 227 thrown for Campbell.
What’s next for Linares? When asked, he grinned. “Mikey Garcia if he goes to 135, if he needs to go to 140 I’ll go to 140.” Who wouldn’t smile hearing this?
Dorticos makes quick work of Kudryashov in Super Six: WBA cruiserweight world champion Yunier “The KO Doctor” Doriticos (22-0, 21 KOs) of Cuba via Miami, Florida, made quick work of Dmitry “The Russian Hammer” Kudryashov (21-2, 20 KOs) in the World Super Six tournament quarterfinals at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.
It was six minutes of non-stop bombs between the heavy handed men. Kudryashov appeared to be the stronger puncher, but Dorticos was the faster and in boxing with all other things equal, speed kills. Dorticos pinned Kudryashov on the ropes where he wore him down in the second round, setting the Russian up for a big right hook just before the bell sounded. Kudryashov was out cold and the referee didn’t bother to finish the count after getting a look at him.
Dorticos moves on to face the winner of the quarterfinal between Murat Gassiev of Russia (24-0, 17 KOs), trained by Abel Sanchez in California, vs. Krzysztof Wlodarczyk of Poland. They fight October 21 in Newark, New Jersey. (53-3, 37 KOs). As a colleague says, “Jesus be a matchmaker! ” Give us the big Russian versus the big Cuban please.
Big credit and chapeau to the World Boxing Super Six tournament organizers for providing excellent live streaming coverage free via its YouTube channel.
Parker wins majority decision over Fury: Joseph Parker (24-0, 18 KOs) of New Zealand held onto his WBO heavyweight title in an uninspired fight against Hughie Fury (20-1, 10 KOs) in Manchester, England. Scores were 118-110 X 2 for Parker, with a 114-114 card.
There was little about the fight from either man to appreciate. Fury circled the ring, relying mainly on his jab. Parker did what he could to pressure Fury, but had trouble landing significant power punches. It lacked any drama. In a year where the bar has been set high with fights like Joshua vs. Klitschko and Canelo vs. Golovkin, this one suffered. Parker isn’t looking like the giant killer talent he first appeared to be.
With this performance and his previous escape from American Andy Ruiz, a fight many thought Ruiz won, Parker needs to prove he deserves his title. For the other heavyweights with belts, Parker’s prize seams ripe for the taking.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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