Jorge Linares responds Belfast James Tennyson talk

Three weight world titlist Jorge Linares [47(29)-5(5)] has responded positively to talk of a fight with James Tennyson in Belfast in 2021.

Speaking after Tennyson [28(24)-3(3)] stopped world #7 Josh O’Reilly in less than a round live on Sky Sports on Friday night, Eddie Hearn dropped the name of the well known Venezuelan.

The Matchroom boss put forward the idea of ‘The Assassin’ versus the much decorated 35-year-old on the top of a Belfast card.

Considering Linares has worked with Matchroom on numerous occasions, including for fights with Anthony Crolla and Kevin Mitchell, he looks an attainable world name.

The fighter himself seems keen, he responded to Hearn on Twitter, suggesting he had no issue with taking on the big puncher in his home town.

Linares is a huge name, accomplished foe and the kind of scalp that could propel ‘The Assassin’ to global stardom.

The Venezuelan has held multiple world championships in three weight classes, including the WBC featherweight title from 2007 to 2008; the WBA super featherweight title from 2008 to 2009; and the WBA, WBC and Ring magazine lightweight titles between 2014 and 2018.

At 35 he may not be at his peak, but he has enjoyed success anytime he has come this side of the Atlantic sea, defeating Anthony Crolla and Kevin Mitchell. He also holds a win over Luke Campbell and shared the ring with Vasyl Lomachenko as recent as 2018.

Career wise it seems the perfect bridge fight and a clash strong enough to tempt Sky Sports and Matchroom back to Belfast for the first time since Ryan Burnett’s unification win over Zhanat Zhakiyanov in 2017.

As a fellow MHD fighter and a European cruiserweight champion, Tommy McCarthy would benefit and most likely populate the card. Eric Donovan and Paul Hyland Jr, who has a British title opportunity against Liam Walsh in early February would be in the same boat.

Jonny Stapleton contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: