Jorge Linares defeated Nihitio Arakawa in a spirited 10-round lightweight bout on the Canelo Alvarez-Alfredo Angulo card Saturday in Las Vegas.
Arakawa (24-4-1, 16 knockouts) was as game as ever but couldn’t match the skills of Linares (36-3, 23 knockouts), who clearly outworked his Japanese opponent. The scores were 98-92, 100-90 and 100-90 in favor of Linares.
"I knew he could take a punch coming into the fight," Linares said after the fight. "I hurt my right hand in the fourth round. That's why I relied on my left hand for much of the fight.
"I want to fight for the [WBC] title whenever [beltholder] Omar Figueroa Jr. is ready."
In the first televised fight, Sergio Thompson (29-3, 27 KOs) defeated Ricardo Alvarez (23-3-3, 14 KOs) by a unanimous decision in an entertaining 10-round lightweight bout. Alvarez went down twice, once in the third round and again in the eighth.
The scores were 95-93, 95-93 and 97-91, all for Thompson, who took the fight on late notice. Alvarez is the brother of Canelo Alvarez.
"I'm going to talk to my team about moving up to junior welterweight," Alvarez said after the fight. "I was able to throw my punches like I normally do but I couldn't get any power on them."
Thompson, who moved up from the junior lightweight division and took the fight on five days notice, didn't have that problem.
"I was surprised at how I was able to counter him all night," Thompson said. "I was training for another fight when I was offered this one last week. Still, I'm happy with my performance."