Jorge Linares back in the win column, scores 10-round decision over Al Toyogon
Jorge Linares outpointed Al Toyogon over 10 rounds Saturday night, winning by unanimous decision in a stay-busy bout at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
The 34-year-old, a world titleholder in three weight divisions, improves to 46-5 (28 knockouts).
This was Linares’ first fight back since a surprising first-round knockout loss to junior welterweight contender Pablo Cesar Cano on Jan. 18.
From the opening bell, Linares used his superior skillset and accuracy to outbox Toyogon, landing left-right combinations to the head. Toyogon was game, however, and momentarily stunned Linares with a left hook in the fourth round.
That success was short lived and Toyogon found himself in a deeper hole in the fifth, when referee Yuji Fukuchi deducted him a point for butting Linares’ during an exchange.
Linares continued to outbox his opponent and work from distance, landing the same one-two combinations and mixing in hooks to the body. Toyogon was not visibly hurt and continued to fight back, but he absorbed several flush head shots all the way up to the final bell.
Scores were 99-90, 99-90, and 100-89 for Linares, who was born in Venezuela and now resides in Las Vegas.
Linares weighed in at 137 pounds at Friday’s weigh-in and there is no word on whether he will return to compete as a lightweight or remain at 140 pounds. Eric Gomez, the president of Golden Boy Promotions, stated that the plan is to get Linares back in the ring as soon as possible.
“(Jorge) is still a top-level fighter,” Gomez told The Ring in a text Saturday evening. “(We) will be working on a big fight next.”
Toyogon, who resides in Gingoog City in the Philippines, drops to 10-5-1 (6 KOs). The 21-year-old has now lost his last three bouts.
Two fighters that reside in Tokyo also secured victories Saturday night on the Teiken Promotions card.
Yuki Nagano stopped Masato Kawasaki (11-8-1, 2 KOs) at 2:41 of the second round to win the Japanese welterweight title. The 30-year-old Nagano (17-2, 13 KOs) has won his last 15 bouts.
Welterweight Ryota Toyoshima defeated Masafumi Ando (6-9-2, 3 KOs) by decision over eight one-sided rounds. Scores were 80-70, 80-70, and 80-69 for Toyoshima, who improves to 12-2-1, 8 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing
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