Above: Jorge Linares battles his way to a unanimous-decision victory over Rocky Juarez on July 31, 2010 (photo by Ray Kasprowicz/FightWireImages.com)
Former WBC featherweight and WBA junior lightweight beltholder Jorge Linares and southpaw eight-division titleholder Manny Pacquiao “were perfect for each other” during their sparring sessions in Baguio City, Philippines, according to Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach.
Roach said that he and the 32-year-old Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38 KOs) landed in Los Angeles on Saturday night “after three weeks of training” in Baguio City, where they were preparing for Pacquaio’s HBO Pay Per View-televised defense of his WBO welterweight belt opposite 38-year-old WBO and WBA lightweight titleholder Juan Manuel Marquez (53-5-1, 39 KOs) on Nov. 12 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The 26-year-old Linares (31-1, 20 KOs) will bring a streak of four wins with two consecutive knockouts when he meets 25-year-old southpaw Antonio DeMarco (25-2-1, 18 KOs) in a clash for the WBC’s lightweight belt on Oct. 15 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“You know, we started training really early, because Linares has a fight coming up. Manny offered to help because Linares‘ opponent is a southpaw, DeMarco. So Manny’s been boxing with Linares,” said Roach, who is listed on the 2012 ballot as a potential inductee into the International Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y.
“They were boxing up to about eight rounds a day. They did 10 one day and 12 one day. Manny got a really early start. So, him and Linares were great work.”
Roach said that Linares is similar to Marquez in many ways.
“Linares is a smart fighter like Marquez. He’s very intelligent and he sets things up really well. He doesn’t just make things up without thinking about them first,” said Roach.
“But he also makes very subtle moves and throws punches without having to think about them first. Linares isn’t necessarily a counter-puncher, but he’s very, very formidable. And every punch that he throws has a meaning with it. So it worked out really well. They were perfect for each other.”
Linares-DeMarco is on the undercard to the main event featuring 46-year-old RING and WBC light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins (52-5-2, 32 KOs), holder of a record 20 title defenses as undisputed middleweight champion, against southpaw Chad Dawson (30-1, 17 KOs) on HBO Pay Per View.
The Hopkins-Dawson card will also feature the first fight under Golden Boy Promotions for southpaw junior middleweight Luis Collazo (31-4, 16 KOs), who will pursue his third straight knockout against hammer-fisted Freddy Hernandez (29-2, 20 KOs).
The 30-year-old Collazo last suffered defeat by unanimous decision against current IBF welterweight beltholder Andre Berto (28-1, 22 KOs) in January of 2009. The 32-year-old Hernandez is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Berto in November of last year.
Also scheduled to be on the Hopkins-Dawson card are former IBF junior welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi (29-4, 6 KOs) against Orlando Lora (28-1-1, 19 KOs) and former WBO junior welterweight beltholder Kendall Holt (27-4, 15 KOs) opposite Danny Garcia (21-0, 14 KOs).
In another attraction, Dewey Bozella, who was released from prison after being wrongfully accused of murder and serving 26 years, will compete in a four-rounder against an opponent to be determined.
On July 13, the 52-year-old Bozella’s life was chronicled in ESPN’s annual ESPY Award show in the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, where he was honored as the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Bozella has spent some time training alongside Hopkins in Philadelphia.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org