Jack Catterall knows that he can’t rely solely on his name to get him through his next assignment.
Nor does the 30-year-old southpaw from Chorley, England view Jorge Linares as merely another name to add to his resume.
“We want to make a beautiful fight. But not only that, I want to come away victorious,” Catterall said of their upcoming twelve-round, junior welterweight bout this weekend. “I think we all know Linares is a future Hall of Famer and I wouldn’t show disrespect to any opponent by talking about any other fights right now.”
Catterall-Linares headlines a DAZN show this Saturday from M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.
It goes without saying that a rematch with Scotland’s Josh Taylor is still very much on Catterall’s mind. He was forced to sit on a controversial split decision defeat for more than a year after their February 2022 undisputed junior welterweight championship. Three cancellations of their rematch and a 15-month inactive stretch was all that he had to show for his trouble before a return to the ring in a ten-round decision over Darragh Foley on May 27 in Manchester.
Taylor (20-1, 13KOs) lost what was left of his championship reign just two weeks later in a twelve-round, unanimous decision to Teofimo Lopez (20-1, 13KOs) to concede his lineal and WBO 140-pound crown in New York City.
The development meant that any shot at revenge for Catterall would now come in a non-title fight. Worse, there is no remaining pathway to another title fight anytime soon; he’s not a mandatory to any of the divisional titles, all of which are spoken for at the moment.
That meant restoring much needed activity into his career.
Catterall was offered the opportunity to headline this weekend’s show and didn’t hesitate at the shot to face Linares (47-8, 29KOs). Much has been made of the visiting Venezuelan’s perfect 4-0 record versus UK competition, including three wins in country, though the 38-year-old has seen much better days and has lost his last three starts.
Their respective career paths are reflected in the odds. Catterall is listed as a massive -1000 favorite by sportsbook bet365, which currently has Linares as a +550 underdog.
Still, the only line that is of any concern to Catteral is one that says he still has to beat a former three-division titlist.
“We don’t talk about any fights – it’s 100% focus on Linares,” insisted Catterall. “We pay him that respect and we train hard to win that fight on [Saturday].”
“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.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox