Former world champion Jorge Linares of Venezuela, returned to the ring on Saturday, to beat the Philippine contender Al Toyogon, by a wide unanimous decision.
The event was organized by Teiken Promotions, televised by Nippon TV and took place at the legendary Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
After ten rounds of action, Linares won the bout with scores of 100-89, 100-90 and 99-90. Those scores make it seem like it was an easy victory for Linares, but it really wasn't, since Toyogon forced him to work extra hard for the victory at all times.
This was a third consecutive defeat for the Filipino, but it will certainly keep the demand on the regional circuit. And it would not be surprising to see Toyogon back in Japan in the near future, according to Asianboxing.info.
Linares had not fought since January 18, when he was shockingly knocked out in the first round by junior welterweight banger Pablo César Cano of Mexico.
After that loss, he seemed to be closer to retirement than continuing forward, but this Saturday he showed examples of what he can do, but he looked a lot like a fighter who had lost his team and seemed to worry every time Toyogon launched a clean counterattack.
Linares is still a better boxer than most fighters on the planet, but he is not close to the boxer he once was and as he ages we get closer and closer to the point where his speed and reactions will fail. With this victory, Linares raised his record to 46-5, with 28 knockouts, while Toyogan fell to 10-5-1, with 6 knockouts.
In the main fight of this card, Japanese national welterweight champion Yuki Nagano (17-2, 13 KOs) defended his crown by knocking out challenger Makoto Kawasaki (11-8-1, 2 KOs) in the second round, in a contest scheduled for ten rounds.