By JOSE MONTY FLORES
INGLEWOOD (Sept. 23) – Jorge “Golden Boy” Linares retained his WBA world lightweight title via a split decision against challenger Luke Campbell on Saturday night at The Forum here.
Judges Zac Young (115-112) and Max De Luca (114-113) both scored it for Linares while the other judge Victor Loughlin gave it to Campbell (113-115).
Linares dropped Campbell with a right cross on the left cheek in the second round as the challenger also suffered a cut under the right eye from a legal punch by the champion.
Campbell survived the round but Linares continued to walk him down. Linares, a technical and savvy fighter with power and speed on both hands was very efficient with his shots.
Linares knew how to cut the ring moving laterally to position and to hurt Campbell. Linares used two speeds and was very sneaky when he made his attacks.
Campbell was still trying his best to figure out a way to score big win and so far no luck.
In the seventh round, Campbell started to catch Linares and the champ finally gets a taste of the Englishman power. Campbell continued to successfully counter Linares with a sneaky shot to the body. Campbell started to gain confidence in his shots and Linares was cautious when coming to throw his combinations.
Campbell was closing in the 11th but Linares still controlled it. Both fighters were still attacking and countering against each other in the 12th and final round.
Meanwhile, Azat Hovhannisyan 913-2-0) won by a unanimous decision on Sergio Frias (19-8-2) by a unanimous decision to capture the vacant WBC Continental Americas Super Bantamweight title.
Hovhannisyan suffered a cut on the right from an accidental headbutt in round 9.