ANAHEIM - Three-division world titleholder Jorge Linares dropped Carlos Morales twice en route to a fourth round knockout victory Friday night.
With the victory, Linares improves to 47-5, 29 knockouts.
Linares last fought on Sept. 9 in Tokyo, Japan, where he lived for several years, dropping Al Toyogon of the Philippines en route to a decision victory. The fight took place almost eight months after his shocking opening round knockout loss to junior welterweight Pablo Cesar Cano.
Morales entered the fight unbeaten in his previous three fights since his unanimous decision loss to Rene Alvarado in December 2018.
Midway through the opening round, Linares suffered a cut alongside his left eye from an accidental clash of heads with Morales. That seemed to have little effect on Linares as he continued to work behind a stiff jab, connecting with right hands to the head.
Towards the end of round 3, Linares dropped Morales face-first to the canvas with a right cross to the head. Morales did beat the count and was able to make it out of the round.
Linares ended matters in round 4, landing a jab to the body and following it up with a right cross to the head of Morales, dropping him to the canvas. Referee Thomas Taylor immediately stopped the fight at 2:09.
After the fight, a fight between Linares and Ryan Garcia was proposed for July at Staples Center in nearby Los Angeles. That was all contingent to Garcia defeating Francisco Fonseca in the main event of Friday's fight.
Morales, who resides in Highland Park, California, drops to 19-5-4, 8 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for BoxingScene since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing