by Hisao Adachi
This past Friday, August 16, the Teiken Boxing Gym in Tokyo officially announced that world rated lightweight and former tree division world champion Jorge Linares (45-5, 28 KOs, 33 years old), will return to the ring on September 7 at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
Linares will face Filipino and former WBC regional Asian champion, Al Toyogon (10-4-1, 6 KOs, 21 years old) in a fight agreed upon for 10 rounds.
The fight will be paired with the Japan welterweight championship clash between Yuki Nagano (16-2, 12 KOs, 30 years old) and challenger Makoto Kawasaki (11-7-1, 2 KOs, 35-year-old).
Linares, who came to Japan from Venezuela in 2002 at the age of 17 and entered Teiken Boxing Gym in Tokyo, took the big step in December 2002 when he made the leap to the professional ranks in Japan under the management of Teiken after finishing his amateur career in Venezuela with a history of 151-5 and 100 KOs.
Linares is going to fight again in Japan after a long interval of absence of 4 years and 9 months since he won a victory by KO in the fourth round over the Mexico's Francisco Javier "The Implacable" Tight for vacant world lightweight title of the WBC on December 30, 2014 in Tokyo. Since that date, Linares has not fought in Japan in nine ring appearances - he fought three times in England, once in Caracas in Venezuela, twice in Madison Square Garden in New York, three times in California.
For Linares, it will be his fight back to the ring since his most recent defeat, which was a shocking first round knockout at the hands of Mexico's Pablo Cesar "El Demoledor" Cano for the international super lightweight silver title endorsed by the WBC at Madison Square Garden in New York in January of 2019.
In his second to last fight, also at Madison Square Garden in New York in May 2018, Linares lost to Vasiliy Lomachenko by knockout in the tenth round and was dethroned as the WBA lightweight world champion.