At the moment, former featherweight and junior lightweight champion Jorge Linares is in the Philippines, working alongside Manny Pacquiao under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach as the two fighters prepare for their upcoming title fights. On October 15th, Linares will face off with Antonio DeMarco in Los Angeles for the vacant WBC lightweight crown while Pacquiao will defend his WBO welterweight title against Juan Manuel Marquez on November 12th inside of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Linares burst onto the scene in July of 2007 with a beautiful dissection over Oscar Larios to capture his first world title as he seemed to be a star in the making. But four fights later, Linares was shockingly stopped by Mexico City’s Juan Carlos Salgado in one round in Japan and hasn’t been in the spotlight nearly as much since that defeat.
Winner of four fights in a row, Linares made a bold move earlier this year by linking up with trainer Freddie Roach and putting in work at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles before venturing overseas as the trainer had to attend to Pacquiao for his preparation for Marquez. Interestingly enough, Linares had some memorable sparring sessions with Pacquiao in the spring of 2009 as Manny prepared for his clash with Ricky Hatton and even then he could sense some camaraderie with Roach.
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“We didn’t forecast working with [Freddie], but we had a background working with him,” Linares stated exclusively to BoxingWar during his closing days in L.A. “And I’ve always liked working with him and appreciated the opportunities Freddie had given me. And Manny Pacquiao, to help them, it was an unforgettable experience. But here and there, Freddie made comments that he would like to train me. He was anxious for it and so was I.”
For Linares, you can tell just how deep this connection is heading into his do-or-die bout next month.
“The communication was have is perfect. And that’s something beautiful. If I win this title it will be my third in my professional boxing career. I’m going to dedicate it to Freddie, Alex [Ariza] and the people at the Wild Card.”
To check out more from Jorge Linares please visit the video on the left as he discusses his time at the Wild Card, his repsect for Pacquiao, a possible fight against Brandon Rios, and much more…
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Chris Robinson is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. He can be reached at [email protected]