On October 21, 2023, at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, Jack ‘El Gato’ Catterall (27-1, 13KO) will face former three-weight world champion Jorge ‘The Golden Child’ Linares (47-8, 32KO) in his WBA Inter-Continental Super-Lightweight title defense, live on DAZN.
Chorley’s Catterall aged 30; Eight years Linares’ junior. The 38-year-old Venezuelan veteran turned pro 20 years ago in December 2002, 10 years before Catterall. Indeed, Catterall made his professional debut in September 2012 and two weeks later Linares fought his 35th, already a world title contender.
The South American has previously fought three times in the UK and is unbeaten on these shores, winning twice against Kevin Mitchell and Anthony Crolla. So he travels well, but he hasn’t won any of his last three fights.
This boxer from Barinas has a high guard, great feet, exceptional ring IQ and a powerful left hook. His experience as a three-weight world champion is unrivaled and he is as comfortable inside the squared ring as he is in his living room. It is his second home.
Catterall has lost just once in 28 bouts, but many will dismiss that as a robbery against fierce rival Josh Taylor. The southpaw is loose and sharp behind his jab and uses his feet effectively to move in and out of range. He keeps his lead right arm extended away from his body where he can accurately land his jabs and gauge range, which he is very good at doing. He can keep his punches together and is great at varying his shots from body to head.
Despite boasting only 13 knockouts from 28 bouts, a KO ratio of less than 50%, he has knocked out his last three opponents, so his power should not be underestimated.
The fight will see a young, ambitious prince trying to overthrow a fallen king who is still mighty, majestic and a force to be reckoned with.
Betting Odds (Bitway Sports)
Catterall is favorite to win at 1/9 and Linares is the underdog at 6/1. The odds of a draw are 25/1.
Catterall is eight years younger and on the way up, while Linares is nearing 40 past his prime, and hasn’t won a fight in over three years and eight months.
The former triple champion is still a classy operator, still competitive and eye-catching in fights, and his 55 bouts and 20-plus years of experience against anyone will be invaluable, but it’s a win-or-lose fight.
I believe ‘El Gato’ will win on points or late 11-12 rounds.