Jack Catterall, ESPN’s No. 1 junior welterweight, will fight former four-division champion Jorge Linares on Oct. 21 in Liverpool, England, Matchroom Boxing announced Friday.
Catterall, a 30-year-old Englishman, dropped a controversial split decision to Josh Taylor last February in a bid for the undisputed 140-pound championship. Following several postponements of the rematch, Taylor moved on to a summer bout with Teofimo Lopez, while Catterall signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom.
“It is an honor to share a ring with Jorge Linares,” said Catterall. “I’ve watched him come over to the U.K. on three occasions and win three times. He is a legend of the game and this is a must-win fight for the both of us for very different reasons.
“There is talk of a huge fight for me after this but it’ll count for nothing if I take my eye off the ball – which I can’t afford to do at this stage of my career. It’s no secret my career has lacked momentum, so after boxing in May and now October, I genuinely believe you’ll see the best version of me on Oct. 21.”
That “huge fight” Catterall mentioned is the rematch with Taylor. There have been discussions for a Catterall-Taylor encore targeted for late 2023 or early 2024, sources told ESPN. Taylor is set to campaign at welterweight after he lost his title to Lopez, but Catterall is willing to meet him in between 140 and 147 pounds, sources said.
But first, Catterall (27-1, 13 KOs) will need to come out victorious against the second-toughest opponent of his career.
Linares (47-8, 29 KOs) has captured titles at 126, 130 and 135 pounds, but at 37, the Venezuelan has lost three consecutive fights. Linares was competitive in a decision defeat to Devin Haney in May 2021.
Afterward, Linares fought twice in Russia: a 12th-round TKO loss to Zaur Abdullaev and a decision setback vs. Zhora Hamazaryan in December.
“Oct. 21 I’m back in the UK,” said Linares. “I’m full of emotion and ready to give everybody a spectacular performance against a tremendous opponent, Jack Catterall. “I just want everyone to know that I’m ready to give Jack a great boxing lesson and to continue making history in the U.K.”