In the second bout of the Alvarez vs. Angulo “Toe-to-Toe” pay-per-view undercard, another lightweight contest took place; this time between Jorge Linares (36-3, 23 knockouts) and Nihito Arakawa (24-4-1, 16 knockouts) in the final WBC title eliminator bout. Since the announcement of the bout, Linares was correctly marked as the favorite going into the fight, but Arakawa managed to show that he’s as game as an opponent could come.
In the early rounds of the bout, Linares would show that his superior boxing ability is what would prove to be the difference maker in his bout against Arakawa. With superior foot-work, head movement, and hand speed Linares managed to dominate the early two rounds against Arakawa. Still, it seemed that Linares couldn’t resist the idea of getting into an all-action fight, and in the third Arakawa finally began landing some of his punches with consistency thus goading a firefight between the two going into the fourth round.
After two round of trading blows, Linares fought in the fifth round like he did earlier, relying on superior technique to keep his opponent at bay, throwing shots from the outside and inside of his opponents range. He continued to pick Arakawa apart while also defending properly, but Arakawa refused to go away.
Aside from an ugly clash of heads that managed to open up a cut by Linares’ left eye, the fight continued on in its set pattern. Both fighters continued trading heavy shots, but it was Linares better boxing that ultimately won him the fight. The scores were (100-90), (98-92), and (100-90) all in favor of Linares.