By Joe Koizumi
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
For three-division champ Jorge Linares, a Japan-based Venezuelan, Tokyo is his second home where he has a great many adherents and aficionados. Linares (46-5, 28 KOs), 137, came back to the Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, after twelve years and seven months, and defeated durable Filipino Al Toyogon (10-5-1, 8 KOs), 135.75, by a nearly shutout decision (99-90, 100-90, 100-89) over ten fast rounds on Saturday.
It was a nightmare for Jorge to have suffered a first-round shocker at the hand of Pablo Cesar Cano in the WBC 140-pound eliminator at the Madison Square Garden this January. His eight-month hiatus probably caused his ring rust, but he outpunched Toyogon though the Filipino refused to go down despite his absorption of Jorge’s solid combinations.
Linares, 34, replied in fluent Japanese in the ring, “I’d like to fight Lomachenko in a rematch.”
We wish to watch it again.