At the prestigious Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, former Lightweight Champion of the World 🇻🇪Jorge Linares (46-5-0 , 28KO) quietly made his way back to the ring to take on journeyman🇵🇭Al Toyogon (10-5-1, 6KO) of the Philippines in the Junior-Welterweight division, and defeated Toyogon by unanimous decision as a start back to square 1 as a steady road to eventually build himself back into contention.
THE SCOPE – Linares at this crossroad in his career has been an enigma as to what he still has left and where he stands currently in the sport, and in this contest, we may have gotten a few answers that we were in search of. He still looks to have the handspeed and snap on his punches that we are normally accustomed to seeing, and still has quality reflexes, though not quite as sharp as he was when he was in his peak. For most of the contest, Linares was in control, however in the 4th round, Toyogon landed a left hook that clipped the nose as it was grazing by, and momentarily wobbled Linares. Jorge was able to recover and regain control – with that being stated, if Linares possessed a strong chin and better defense, he could’ve possibly been an all-time-great, as those have been his 2 weaknesses that have set him back a few times, but I digress. Toyogon is a very awkward come-forward type of fighter who throws his shots wide, something you customarily see from lower level fighters, so Linares looked to sharp-shoot him all night with counter shots upstairs and digging hard shots to the body, and he did what he was supposed to do there, winning by scores of 100-89 x 100-90 x 99-90.
In looking forward, Linares will look to stay active and gradually increase his level of opposition to once again put him in a good position for some high level fights, but one step to be taken at a time, first things first, and Linares took care of that first step today.