Should Jorge Linares Consider Retirement After Loss To Zaur Abdullaev?

Jorge Linares May Be At The End Of His Rope!

Jorge Linares looks towards the crowd
Jorge Linares Credit: Getty Images

Retirement May Be Around The Corner For Jorge Linares

A fight that that may have fallen through the cracks took place February 19 in Russia featuring a notable name. Three-division world champion Jorge “El Nino de Oro Golden Boy” Linares (47-7, 29 KOs) took on Russia’s Zaur Abdullaev (15-1, 9 KOs) in a WBC title eliminator.

Linares used his speed and boxing skills to get off to a good start. However, over the second half of the fight, he started to fade. Fighting in his backyard, Abdullaev was the bigger, stronger fighter and began chopping Linares down before catching and finishing him off in the twelfth and final round.

For Abdullaev, it was the biggest win of his career as he will now become the WBC mandatory challenger for champion Devin Haney which would be a rematch of their September 2019 bout. Meanwhile, it’s a crushing setback for the former champ. At this stage of his career, fans and pundits will start to question whether “El Nino de Oro Golden Boy” should call it quits.

The way Linares fell in Russia follows an all too familiar pattern for the veteran from Venezuela. He looked good for the first half of the fight. Then faded before his chin ultimately failed. It’s that lack of stamina and suspect chin that has dogged him repeatedly.


Questions about his punch resistance surfaced when he lost the WBA junior lightweight title by shocking first-round TKO to unheralded Juan Carlos Salgado in October 2009. The stamina issues were on full display during his war against Antonio DeMarco for the vacant WBC lightweight belt in October 2011.

After outboxing DeMarco with ease for most of the fight, there was a visible drop in Linares’ work rate. Sensing a gassed opponent, DeMarco came on late and stopped the Venezuelan in the eleventh. All Linares had to do was stay on his feet, but he couldn’t hold himself long enough to make it to the final bell.

Another example came against current WBC 135 pound champ Devin Haney in May of 2021. After stunning Haney with a left hook at the end of round ten, Linares didn’t seem to have the strength to follow up. It would cost him as Haney recovered and went on the have his hand raised in victory.

Of Linares’ seven defeats as a pro, six have been by stoppage. There’s nothing wrong when you get dropped by the likes of Vasyl Lomachenko and DeMarco. They are proven commodities, and Loma is probably a future Hall of Famer. It’s alarming when you get splattered by the likes of Sergio Thompson and Pablo Cesar Cano.

Overall, Linares’ body of work is nothing to sneeze at. Leaving his home country, he started his pro career in Japan. The talent was obvious to the eye as he captured world titles at 126, 130, and 135 pounds. Linares takes a backseat to no one when it comes down to a battle of skills.

However, this recent loss feels different. At age 36, it will be hard to come overcome this setback. Plus, the bugaboo of the chin and fitness bit him in the butt again.


It is not easy for any fighter to walk away from the sport, especially if they have enjoyed a high level of success. Sometimes they must be carried out of the ring kicking and screaming like a kid that doesn’t want to leave the playground. Nothing lasts forever and all things come to an end. At this moment, the end seems more apparent now than ever for Jorge Linares.

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By: Michael Wilson Jr & Bo Bland

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