Super-Lightweight World Title challenger Jack Catterall defends his WBA Intercontinental Title against multi-weight World Champion Jorge Linares at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool on Saturday October 21, live worldwide on DAZN.
As the countdown continues towards this intriguing 140lbs crossroads clash, Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn hosted a special ePress Conference with both main event fighters and their management Sam Jones and Roberto Diaz.
Catterall (27-1, 13 KOs) is determined to make up for lost time and challenge for gold at 140lbs once again following his hugely controversial loss to former undisputed Super-Lightweight World Champion Josh Taylor back in February 2022.
Former featherweight, Super-Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Linares (47-8, 29 KOs) wants to throw his name into the mix in the thriving 140lbs division by keeping his 100% winning record in the UK intact and ruining Catterall's chance of World Title action in his next fight.
Eddie Hearn, Matchroom Sport Chairman:
“October 21st in Liverpool, the M&S Bank Arena, an intriguing 140lbs clash – Jack Catterall against Jorge Linares, all set, live and exclusive around the world on DAZN. I’m joined by Jack Catterall, Jorge Linares and their respective mangers Sam Jones and Roberto Diaz as well. This is a great fight. Jorge Linares has been to the UK many times. We’ve never managed to beat him, yet. But this time he’s coming for what might be described as a final roll of the dice in the big-time fights at 140lbs. The training that we’ve seen and the intensity that we’ve seen from him is that of a very hungry fighter. Jack Catterall, a man who many feel should be the undisputed 140lbs Champion of the World, a chance to fight a big name on the big stage before he goes into what he hopes to be World Championship fights in 2024.”
“First of all I’d like to thank Eddie, Robert and Linares for the opportunity. I got the call quite some weeks ago now for this fight. I said to Sam straight away, ‘sign me up!’ I’m not in boxing to be fighting guys that want to come and roll over and build up a record. I want to test myself and see how good I can be in the sport of boxing. I’m excited. I’ve seen Linares and his training videos – he seems very motivated and that excites me, it makes me go to the gym and work extra hard. Like Linares said, we want to make a beautiful fight. But not only that, I want to come away victorious. I think we all know Linares is a future Hall of Famer and I wouldn’t show the disrespect to any opponent by talking about any other fights right now. I said to Sam and the team around me, we don’t talk about any fights – it’s 100% focus on Linares. We pay him that respect and we train hard to win that fight on October 21st. I think that’s why the fight is exciting – Linares has been over to our turf, my turf, and always picked up the victories. I’m next up now to defend our turf and pick up the win.”
Sam Jones, Manager of Jack Catterall:
“I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Jorge in his camps and I know how hard he trains, how hard he works. I know people judge him off his defeats, he had defeats earlier on in his career and I know how that motivated him. I know him personally. I know what type of person he is, I know how hard he trains. Usually, I can antagonise opponents and all of that but I can’t do that with Jorge because I have too much respect for him. He’s one of the best people I’ve ever met, he’s a legend. I just think in boxing it’s about timing. Jack reminds me a bit of how Linares trains. A demon, focused, lives well, clean life, trains very hard and I just think the old lion and the young lion – I think it's Jack Catterall’s time. I think he’s the best 140lbs fighter in the world, but a motivated and hungry Linares is a problem for any fighter in the world. I have whole heaps of respect for him and I know he's coming to bring it. As soon as I hear he was going back to Salas to train, I knew this was game on! This is a real fight. The connection they have together is fantastic. I know Salas wouldn’t let Linares box I he thought he was finished. This fight is going to be electric – 100%”
“I feel happy. I’m trying to take care of myself. All of the time, inside the gym and outside of the gym. I try to have a very comfortable life. I was in Japan for 20 years. The life in Japan is totally different to life in the United States and also Latin America, that’s why I look like this. Thank you to you Eddie, thank you to Jack and to Sam and Roberto Diaz again for this amazing opportunity to come back to the UK because you know my story there. I had amazing fighters there three times. This is an amazing dream for me. I always wanted to go back to the UK to make another amazing fight with the best 135lbs or 140lbs fighter. The best option was Jack Catterall. The motivation that I have right now is the same it was seven or eight years ago. This is the moment. This is the most important fight. I want to make an amazing show for the people to enjoy, and to enjoy myself. We’re going to make a beautiful fight. This is the most difficult fight of my life. I need to win this fight. I feel like I’m a World Champion right now. I need to come to the UK to defend all my belts. This is the responsibility that I have right now, the pressure that I have right now. This time is different because I come from a loss. After this fight something big is coming for me. That’s why it’s very important for me to win this fight.”
Roberto Diaz, manager of Jorge Linares:
“Thank you so much Eddie. I want to thank everyone at Matchroom, thank everybody at DAZN, thank team Jack Catterall for this opportunity. It’s a great opportunity. Everybody knows that Jorge Linares is coming to the point where retirement is near. However, I’ve known him for 20 years and what he’s showing me right now is a great motivation – that last hurrah. That’s the Jorge Linares I know. That’s the Jorge that’s been to the UK three times and three times he’s beaten the British fighters. We have all respect to this man (Jack Catterall), he should be undefeated, he should be undisputed and that’s why Jorge said, ‘I don’t just want to fight anybody, I’ve always fought the best, I’m going to continue fighting the best, I want to fight the best at 140lbs and I want to go and give it another run’. Come October 21st you don’t want to miss it. A legendary fighter like Jorge Linares is back in the UK and we’re going for four. Four and 0. With all due respect this young man (Jack Catterall) should be undefeated, but will be defeated October 21st.”
Catterall vs. Linares tops of huge night of action on Merseyside, Liverpool amateur sensation turned 7-0 (5 KOs) Super-Bantamweight prospect Peter McGrail fights for his first professional title when he faces unbeaten Colombian Fran Mendoza for the vacant WBA Continental Title.
Oldham’s unbeaten Super-Featherweight contender Aqib Fiaz (12-0, 1 KO) kicks off live the live broadcast with what promises to be an electric match-up against Watford’s Reece Bellotti (16-5, 13 KOs) for the vacant Commonwealth Title - with the fight doubling up as a British Title Final Eliminator.
Stoke’s undefeated Super-Bantamweight slickster Shabaz Masoud (11-0, 4 KOs) fights for the first time as a Matchroom fighter after singing a multi-fight deal with Eddie Hearn in June - putting his WBA Intercontinental title on the line against Colombia’s Jose Sanmartin (34-7-1, 21 KOs).
Chester’s Paddy Lacey (8-0, 1 KO) returns to action as he takes on Heysham’s Owen Kirk (3-1-2), Hyde Super-Lightweight Campbell Hatton (13-0, 5 KOs) sees action for the fifth time this year after outpointing Tom Ansell on the undercard of Joshua vs. Helenius last month, Bolton's Khaleel Majid (11-0, 3 KOs) looks to build on his points win in Birmingham.
Leicester Super-Bantamweight Muhammad Ali (3-0, 1 KO) looks to go 4-0, Manchester Super-Welterweight William Crolla (1-0) fights for the second time as a pro and 'El Terrier' Jack Turner (2-0, 2 KOs) fights in his home city for the first time.