If you are a true fan of boxing there is one fighter I highly recommend you check out and that is El Niño de Oro (The Golden Boy) Jorge Linares! The Venezuelan boxer is coming to the end of his career, but I feel he is very much a fighter we can learn a lot from looking throughout his career.
Jorge Linares has been one of my favorite offensive fighters in the last 10 years! With beautiful footwork, great use of combination punching, and power, he is always an exciting fighter to watch. Linares’s weakest area has probably been defense, but he uses his offensive skills as a way to counter this very weakness.
In this boxing style analysis, I will give you a look at Linares’s background, accomplishments, and of course look at his boxing style for you to hopefully take something from it.
Who is Jorge Linares
Jorge Linares is a Venezuelan boxer who has held world titles in three different weight classes. Linares built up an impressive amateur record of 85-5 while he was growing up in his home country, not long before he took the unusual decision to move to Japan at the age of 17 so he could turn professional.
Learning his craft in Japan, Linares fought from Super Bantamweight to Featherweight where he progressed his career before getting his first title in world title in 2007 before in 2009 winning his 2 weight division world title at Super featherweight. That same year Linares would go on to suffer the first defeat of his career.
Linares was always a huge size for featherweight and he made the smart move up to lightweight where he looked to rebuild his career with a world title in the new weight division. After a few defeats more defeats Linares built up further experience before finally winning his first lightweight world title over Javier Prieto in 2014.
Linares has since gone on to defeat many great world-level fighters which have helped cement his legacy, however lost his titles to Lomachenko in 2018.
Linares has won belts in 3 weight divisions so far, see his amazing accomplishments to date so far:
WBC featherweight title
WBA super-featherweight title
WBC lightweight title
WBA lightweight weight title
The Ring Magazine lightweight belt
Linares Boxing Style
The boxing style of Linares typifies that of the boxer-puncher, as his honed boxing skills and fighting spirit definitely show up when he is in the ring.
Linares’s former coach, Ismael Salas, is one of the top trainers in boxing today. Even he had to complement Linares on his overall boxing style and ability when talking with Ring Magazine:
Linares is boxing: attack, defense and counter. When he hits, you will feel it. He can be a one-punch knockout guy or he can be all night long-hitting you. I have done more than 120 world title fights and the last fight with Linares was the (first) one I didn’t say a word in the corner. It was the perfect performance. He didn’t want to knock out (Anthony) Crolla; he was kind. It was a masterpiece.
When he dropped Crolla in Round 7, he was ready to go, but he held back so I allowed him to do that. I never like to push. I say to the fighter what he should do, but he’s the one who fights. I respect their decision.Ismael Salas, former boxing trainer
This is some compliment to give out and you have to really consider him as a tremendous fighter and boxer. Below I’ll look at aspects that make his boxing style so beautiful.
The Jab and Set Up
Just like with all the top fighters, Linares has an excellent left jab which he uses to keep his opponents guessing while in the ring.
Linares usually likes to double up his jab when throwing it, usually by throwing an initial jab to occupy the guard, then with the second jab to hit the exposed body. He will also change the frequency of when he applies this to kept his opponent guessing.
Linares will also use his jab to set up his most dangerous attaching techniques – his quick combination punching which I will go into more detail below.
Before that make sure to watch this great video by Philip Hardin who shows Linares use his jabbing technique in action (Watch from 0:27-1:40):
Countering & Combination Punching
This is one of the first things that stands out to me is Linares’ combination punching. It is a thing of beauty when the Venezuelan gets going in his attack flurries.
Usually, Linares will use his combination punching after his opponent has missed with a jab or throws a right hand. Linares is extremely gifted and natural at firing back with 3-4 punches to keep his opponent off him.
The other thing I love about his combinations is it changes each time as he will change his combinations from head to body in a very quick fashion.
I highly recommend you check out Hanzagod’s video below that demonstrates some of these beautiful combinations he throws.
Footwork and Defense
Now although Linares isn’t known for his defense – he does have brilliant defensive attributes that help in while he is fighting in the ring. One is his spectacular footwork which I believe is up there with the very best in the world. Because of some of his defensive frailties – Linares will use his footwork to move in and out of range, pivot, and even use L-steps to move out of range or close the distance on his opponents even.
Linares may have lost more than most of the top p4p stars, but his footwork for me is something that may have saved him from getting bigger beatings over the years.
Another aspect Linares gets underrated for is his head movement and you rolling with his hips. I have to admit he can be sloppy sometimes, as we have seen him get caught out – but that is only because I believe he gets caught in his offensive mindset.
Check out these awesome videos by FightHype showing Linares training his feet and defense below:
Straight Right and Left Hook
Now the killer punch for Linares is his straight right hand which has KO’d and knocked down multiple opponents over the years. Most famously he clipped Vasyl Lomachenko to canvas for the first time with his right in their bout in 2018. Check it out below.
Now the other way Linares will use his right is by immediately throwing a left hook which has been ever-present in his career. To spice this up sometime Linares will throw 2-3-2 to catch his opponents off guard with a returning right – The Venezuelan did this in his bout against British lightweight Luke Campbell which saw him plump to the ground as he was not expecting it. Watch below from 0:14-1:05
Just like his former boxing coach Salas said “Linares is boxing”, he comes with all the talent and skillset you would want from a boxer, but he also has the heart of a fighter which has made him incredibly fun fighter to watch over the years.
I highly recommend for you study Linares if you are looking to improve any of the above – you will definitely learn something from El Niño de Oro!
Hope you enjoyed this boxing style review and make sure to let me know if there are any more boxing styles you would like me to feature in the comments below.
Check out my other boxing style analysis features here.
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