Jorge Linares

Weightclass: Lightweight

  • 44wins

  • 3losses

  • 0draws

  • 27kos

Barinas, Venezuela
Akihiko Honda
Ismael Salas

fighter feed

Jorge Linares

At the age of 32, Jorge is a 15-year pro. A three-division world champion, he won WBC featherweight world title when he was just 21 years old in July, 2007, and made one successful defense before vacating the title to move up in weight in 2008. He won the WBA super featherweight world title when he was 23 in November, 2008, and made one successful defense before losing the title in October, 2009. He won the WBC lightweight world title in December, 2014, and made two successful defenses. He fractured his right hand in training, though, in February, 2016, and was unable to make the WBC’s mandatory title defense. He was named “champion in recess,” which gave him the right to fight for the WBC title again when he returned.

In the meantime, a different opportunity came up for him. After a layoff of 11 months, Jorge returned to the ring in September, 2016, and won the WBA lightweight title. He has now made three successful title defenses.

In his last fight on January 227 in Inglewood, California, he won a 12-round unanimous decision against Mercito Gesta.’s Dan Rafael reported [excerpts]: Lightweight world champion Jorge Linares retained his title for the third time and won his 13th fight in a row with a dominant, unanimous decision against Mercito “No Mercy” Gesta. Linares won by scores of 118-110, 118-110 and 117-111.

They swapped a lot of clean punches, but it was Linares who was landing the harder shots. He connected with several clean right hands, body shots and flashy combinations against Gesta, who was sloppier with his punches and not nearly as hard of a puncher.

In the sixth round, Linares, a Venezuela native living in Las Vegas, landed a big right hand, and Gesta responded by smiling, the boxing sign that he sure felt it.

Gesta, a Philippines native fighting out of San Diego, opened a small cut over Linares’ right eye in the eighth round. He has had problems with cuts, but his corner kept this one under control, so it did not cause Linares any major problems. [End Rafael item]

Trainer Ismael Salas started working with Jorge in March, 2013, and has trained him for his last 12 fights. Jorge has now won 13 fights in a row overall, seven by knockout, since his last loss in March, 2012.

In an earlier interview, Jorge said, “I came to Japan because of the WBA and their president, Gilberto Mendoza Jr. Mendoza has a great relationship with the Japanese promoter, Akihiko Honda, and they’re always having Venezuelan fighters fight here in Japan for their championships. They’ve known me since I was 13 years old. [note: the WBA was based in Caracas at the time; they are now in Panama City] When I was developing, they said maybe I should come over here and train, and I did. I came over here and they did a test on me, everybody was happy how it worked, and I stayed here.

“I love being a boxer and I love boxing. I always study it and try to be the best that I can be, and get better all the time.”

Jorge was promoted exclusively by Akihiko Honda’s Tokyo-based Teiken Promotions for the first seven years of his career, and signed a co-promotional agreement with Golden Boy Promotions in 2010.

Regarding his nickname, he said, “There was a boxer in Venezuela who was known by that same nickname. His name is Morochito Rodriguez. He saw me fight in an amateur tournament in 2002, and he said, ‘You remind me of myself. I want to give you that nickname,’ and it stuck.”


fight history

  • 2018

    3RD WBA L WORLD TITLE DEFENSE – in his last fight on 1-27-18 in Inglewood, CA, he won a 12 round unanimous decision against Mercito Gesta (31-1-2): the bout was one of the co-main events at the Forum; Gesta started fast and gave a strong effort, but Jorge dominated most of the fight; there were several good exchanges, but Jorge consistently out-worked Gesta and landed the harder punches; Jorge was cut over his right eye in the 8th round; scored 118-110, 118-110, 117-111.

  • 2017

    2ND WBA L WORLD TITLE DEFENSE – on 9-23-17 in Inglewood he won a 12 round split decision against left-handed 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell (17-1): the bout headlined at The Forum – it drew a crowd of 4,125, and was a good, close fight; Jorge started fast – he swept the 1st round on all three scorecards, then scored a knockdown with a right hand in the 2nd and Campbell was cut under his left eye; Jorge swept the 3rd round, but Campbell out-boxed Jorge, landed the sharper punches, and rallied in the following rounds; Campbell won the 4th round on two scorecards, then swept the 5th, 6th, and 7th and won the 8th round on two scorecards; Jorge won the 9th on two scorecards, but Campbell came back and won the 10th round on two scorecards; Jorge finished the fight strongly – he won the 11th on two scorecards, then swept the 12th round and won by scores of 115-112, 114-113 Linares, 115-113 Campbell…

    1ST on 3-25-17 in Manchester, ENG, he won a 12 round unanimous decision in the rematch against former WBA lightweight champion Anthony Crolla (31-5-3): the bout headlined at Manchester Arena and drew an announced crowd of 13,000; Jorge kept Crolla off-balance with movement, consistently out-boxed and out-worked him, and dominated most of the fight; Jorge scored a knockdown with a left uppercut in the 7th round, and Crolla was cut over his left eye; Crolla stepped up his pace and swept the 8th and 9th, but Jorge finished the fight strongly – he swept the last three rounds on all three scorecards and won by scores of 118-109, 118-109, 117-110.