Jorge Linares had an easy entry into the 140 pound division by stopping Abner Cotto in three rounds at the Fantasy Springs Casino.
After a feel-out first round, the men began exchanging with Linares’s better technique giving him the edge. Although the former three-time champion suffered a cut around his right eye in the second, he sent Cotto to the canvas with a right hand. Cotto beat the count but was clearly distressed with unsteady legs at round’s end.
Linares poured on the pressure in the third and floored Cotto with straight right hand. Cotto again beat the count, but had no balance and toppled over Linares while trying to clinch, prompting the local commission to call the fight.
Linares improves to 45-4 with his first win since losing by knockout to Vasyl Lomachenko in May.
Although Linares’s body looked strong at the new weight, it remains to be seen how he’ll take punches from legit junior welterweights. The cut he suffered leads me to believe he’ll have a tough time with the more physical fighters of the division.