This Saturday’s Showtime pay-per-view main event between Saul Alvarez and Alfredo Angulo will also be featuring some potentially exciting undercard bouts including a WBC world title eliminator. Two time world title holder Jorge Linares(35-3 23Ko’s) and former world title challenger Nihito Arakawa (24-3-1 16Ko’s) will be facing each other in what looks like an exciting fight on paper.
Early in Linares’s career he was considered by many boxing fans and writers as a hot prospect with skill and a lot of talent. In July of 2007, Linares won his first world title at featherweight by defeating Oscar Larios by a 10th round TKO. Linares eventually ended up moving up to super featherweight winning a vacant title and getting knocked out in his third fight at the weight by Juan Carlos Salgado in the first round.
He has been stopped two more times since that fight at lightweight and its now common knowledge that Linares isn’t the most durable fighter. However, his talent is still there and he has great balance and athleticism along with good hand speed and quick feet.
Nihito Arakawa on the other hand is a very tough and rugged fighter from Japan with arguably the best chin in the sport. He has a relentless style and can throw punches in bunches without getting tired and seems like he can care less about getting hit by power shots.
Last time he fought, he went to war with current WBC champion Omar Figueroa (22-0-1 17Ko’s) arguably the hardest puncher in the division. Back in 2011, Linares got stopped by Antonio Demarco in the 11th round. Demarco applied pressure all night and eventually broke Linares down with his pressure and pace. Though Arakawa is physically smaller and doesn’t have the same punching power as Demarco does, he applies an immense amount of pressure throws many punches.
It will be interesting to see if Arakawa’s pressure gets to Linares or will Linares’s skills and natural athleticism carry him to victory. In my humble opinion, if Arakawa isn’t damaged goods from his last fight with Figueroa he eventually ends up drowning Linares with his volume punching and pressure. However one thing is for sure, it will be an entertaining fight to watch.