On Saturday night, Jan. 26, there was no shortage of boxing luminaries inside of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for Lucas Matthysse’s crushing first-round knockout over Mike Dallas Jr.
Such notables in the building included former champions Zab Judah and Shane Mosley, junior welterweight contender Karim Mayfield, former WBO female super bantamweight champion Ana Julaton, junior middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo, rising lightweight Sharif Bogere, and former two-division titlist Jorge Linares.
Striking a conversation with Linares, I quickly discovered that much has changed for the Venezuelan-born prizefighter.
It was March of last year when Linares was dealt a crushing upset loss after being blitzed in two rounds by Sergio Thompson in Quintana Roo, Mexico. That loss came on the heels of Linares’ dramatic 11th round TKO defeat to Antonio DeMarco in Los Angeles.
Shortly after the back to back setbacks, Linares would part ways with his trainer Freddie Roach and was last seen inside of the ring this past October, winning a ten-round decision over well-traveled Hector Velazquez.
Linares pointed out that he is now training in Las Vegas under a new coach.
“I’m very happy to be in the United States one more time,” Linares stated. “I’m happy to start training with a new trainer, Ismael Salas. That’s very important to me, because the only thing on my mind is to get the championship back.”
Linares seems elated with the switch and what their future holds.
“I’ve known [Salas] before and we were talking of the possibility of [training together] and now I have the opportunity,” said Linares. “It’s a reality and I’m very happy and we understand each other really well. He’s a good trainer.”
Expect exclusive coverage from Linares’ camp in Las Vegas in the coming weeks.
*** For Chris Robinson's exclusive coverage from the Lucas Matthysse-Mike Dallas Jr. fight week in Vegas please visit his HustleBoss.com Boxing Directory. Also, please hit up his Exclusive Sparring Directory, showcasing behind the scenes action from top gyms in the West Coast, including the Mayweather Boxing Club...
Gym coverage: Jesus Soto Karass media workout before Aydin upset / Ishe Smith trains for 'K9' / J'Leon love continues work with Roger Mayweather / Floyd Sr. works with Andre Dirrell / Chad Dawson returns to training in Vegas
Interviews: Alfredo Angulo open to a Saul Alvarez fight / Malignaggi reacts to Matthysse's crushing knoockout/ Roger Mayweather rips Andre Berto /Devon Alexander talks Brook, Pacquiao, Mayweather / Shane Mosley breaks down Mayweather vs. Saul Alvarez
Chris Robinson can be reached at Trimond@aol.com