Jorge Linares vs Carlos Morales Preview Feb. 14th
Former WBA and WBC Lightweight Champion Jorge Linares of Venezuela returns to the ring in Anaheim, California this Friday, February 14th when he takes on Carlos Morales of Mexico in a 10-round lightweight bout. The fight can be seen live in North America on DAZN while those in the UK and Ireland can catch it on BoxNation. Linares last fought in September when he beat Al Toyogon of the Philippines by a 10-round unanimous decision. Morales last saw action in November when he fought to a 10-round draw with Mercito Gesta.
**Watch live on DAZN this Friday. Your first month is free.
Linares vs Morales Betting Odds
- Carlos Morales +520
- Jorge Linares -850
The 34-year-old Linares was defending the WBA Lightweight Title for the fourth time when he ran into Vasyl Lomachenko in May of 2018 and although he decked Lomachenko in the sixth round he was stopped in the 10th. He won the belt in 2016 and also defended it against Anthony Crolla by unanimous decisions then stopped Darleys Perez in the ninth round before edging Luke Campbell by split decision and then beat Mercito Gesta by unanimous decision. After losing to Lomachenko he stopped Abner Cotto in the third round four months later.
However, his hot streak ended in January of 2018 when Pablo Cesar Cano stopped him in the first round. before running into Cano. He then fought Toyogon as a confidence builder and it seems he’s doing the same here this weekend against Morales. Linares will enter the ring at 46-5 with 28 Kos under his belt. He has plenty of world-class experience, skill and speed and is also a former featherweight and super featherweight world champion who has recently been living in Japan. Linares won the vacant WBC Lightweight Belt in December, 2014 by stopping Javier Prieto in the fourth round in Tokyo.
The WBC stripped him of it in February, 2016 though after suffering a hand injury and being unable to defend the title. They then named him WBC Diamond Champion for what it’s worth. Linares’ other three losses have been against Juan Salgado in 2009, Antonio DeMarco in 2011 and Sergio Thompson in 2012. Those defeats revealed a questionable chin since all three men stopped him as did Lomachenko and Cano.
Linares’ biggest wins have been over Cotto, Campbell, Crolla (twice), Jesus Chavez, Oscar Larios, Nihito Arakawa and Rocky Juarez. He stands 5-feet-8-inches tall with a 69-inch reach and has fought 316 rounds since turning pro in 2002. He has decent power as he carries a 55 per cent knockout ratio around with him but has just one stoppage in his last seven fights. Before knocking Cotto out in 2018 his last stoppage came against Ivan Cano in 2015.
As for Morales, he’s 30 years old and resides in Highland Park, California. He’s built up a record of 19-4-4 with 8 Kos. Morales made his pro debut in 2012 and has 153 rounds of experience since. He’s 5-feet-9-inches tall with a 70-inch reach which gives him an inch advantage over Linares in both departments. He’s never been stopped and has displayed a pretty solid chin up to now even though he’s been dropped a few times. He doesn’t have much in the way of power with a current knockout ratio of just 29.6 per cent.
Morales’ losses have been against Rene Alvarado by 12-round unanimous decision in 2018, by 10-round majority decision to Ryan Garcia in 2018, by 10-round unanimous decision to Alberto Machado in 2017 and a four-round majority decision to Allan Benitez in his pro debut back in 2012. In fact, Morales didn’t record his first win until his fifth pro fight as he reeled off three straight draws after losing his debut.
These were four-round affairs with Oscar Diaz, Xavier Montelongo Jr and Roque Ramos. His loss to Machado was for the WBO NABO, and NABA Super Featherweight Titles. Morales had won the vacant NABA Crown in August of 2016 with a 10-round unanimous decision over Luis Franco. He defended it once with a 10-round split decision over Charles Huerta four months later despite being dropped in the eighth round and cut up.
Morales has won just three of his last seven fights with three defeats and a draw. He’s got decent experience but has never really gotten over the hump though when moving up in class. Linares is in the twilight of his career now but should still have enough left in the tank to have his hand raised in victory against a decent opponent in Morales.
Linares should have enough left in the tank for a win.
Play: Linares -850 @ BetOnline.ag
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