Jorge Linares has no qualms heaping high praise on Jack Catterall.
The 38-year-old veteran from Venezuela lost his fourth fight in a row to England’s Catterall last Saturday night in a 12-round junior welterweight bout at Echo Arena in Liverpool.
After the fight, Linares stated his intention to retire, saying he felt “happy” in defeat.
Linares also sang the praises of the southpaw Catterall, going so far as to say that he is a superior fighter to former undisputed 140-pound champion Josh Taylor of Scotland.
Taylor and Catterall, of course, were engaged in a highly controversial fight last year that prompted outcries of corruption. Taylor won via split decision. A rematch was planned but was eventually scrapped, with Taylor pivoting to a WBO title defense against Teofimo Lopez. Brooklyn’s Lopez wound up defeating Taylor by unanimous decision in June at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“He’s an amazing fighter,” Linares said of Catterall in an interview with Boxing News. “He have a lot of punch. He have very difficult style. Southpaw for me is a little difficult. I know this [for] 10 years, when I fought Luke Campbell or [Vasiliy] Lomachenko or something like that. But I respect him, I want to say congratulations to him.
“He’s a world champion. For me, he never lost that fight with Taylor. He’s much better than Taylor. So that’s why I need to say thank you to everybody, thank you to him for the opportunity, thank you to Matchroom to DAZN, to all of UK to see me again. I go back to my country and go away.”
Catterall called out Taylor to a rematch immediately after beating Linares. The fighters are backed by rival promoters, Catterall with Matchroom and Taylor with Top Rank.
Catterall, 30, is also expected to be a potential candidate to face the winner of the upcoming WBC 140-pound title match between champion Regis Prograis and Devin Haney on Dec. 9 at Chase Center in San Francisco.
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.