Jack Catterall has his eyes fixed solely on Jorge Linares ahead on the pair’s super lightweight clash in Liverpool on October 21st.
Catterall (27-1, 13 KO’s) jumped at the chance to take on the former multi-weight world champion and will be aiming to produce the type of performance that will make his own world title claims impossible to ignore.
Linares (47-8, 29 KO’s) has enjoyed plenty of success on British shores, winning plenty of fans with his high energy, risk taking style. The Venezuelan is now 38 and it remains to be seen if he still has the explosiveness that made him so dangerous. He is also coming into the fight on the back of three consecutive defeats although the fear of another defeat spelling the end of his top level aspirations is likely to drive him on to one more big effort.
“I got the call quite some weeks ago now for this fight,” Catterall said. “I said to Sam [Jones, his manager] straight away, ‘sign me up!’ I’m not in boxing to be fighting guys that want to come and roll over and build up a record. I want to test myself and see how good I can be in the sport of boxing.
“I’m excited. I’ve seen Linares and his training videos – he seems very motivated and that excites me, it makes me go to the gym and work extra hard. Like Linares said, we want to make a beautiful fight. But not only that, I want to come away victorious.”
Prior to agreeing to the Linares fight, Catterall was heavily linked to a meeting with WBC champion, Regis Prograis, and - until the pair finally settle matters in the ring - a rematch with his fierce rival and former undisputed super lightweight champion, Josh Taylor, will always be a topic of conversation.
Never one to overlook the business at hand, Catterall shut down all talk about Taylor - or anybody else for that matter - until Linares is out of the way. The 30 year old from Chorley will be all too aware that taking his eye off the ball and overlooking Linares could result in a fatal blow to his hopes of getting involved with the biggest names in the junior welterweight division.
“I think we all know Linares is a future Hall of Famer and I wouldn’t show the disrespect to any opponent by talking about any other fights right now,” he said. “I said to Sam and the team around me, we don’t talk about any fights – it’s 100% focus on Linares. We pay him that respect and we train hard to win that fight on October 21st. 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.”