Born on August 22, 1985 in Barinas, Venezuela, Jorge Linares came from humble beginnings, as he lived in a small town and his family didn’t have much. While he was also good at running and volleyball, his father told him that he should stick with boxing. As an amateur, he won gold at two tournaments in 1999, Venezuela’s Juniors National Championship and Juniors Venezuela Panama Dual. He won the silver medal the next year at the National Championship, and then won gold again at the Juniors National Championship in 2001. By the time he finished his amateur career, he had an excellent record of 89-5.
Getting the opportunity to box professionally over in Japan, Linares snatched it up and began his career at just 17 years old on December 15, 2002. He fought Kyong-Soo Chung and won by KO in the first round. Fighting on small shows around Japan and taking on journeyman fighters, he took his record to 7-0 before he got a chance to fight for the WBA Fedelatin super bantamweight title in his home country. It took place on January 31, 2004 against Hugo Rafael Soto, and he ended up winning by unanimous decision after 10 rounds.
His next three fighters were in Tokyo, as he picked up a unanimous decision over Michael Domingo, a unanimous decision over Renan Acosta to win the WBA Fedelatin featherweight title, and a first-round KO over Sung-Hoon Park. After three more stoppage victories, he beat Jean Javier Sotelo on May 26, 2005 to pick up the WBA Fedecentro featherweight title.
Jorge Linares was showing improvements in his technique every time he stepped into the ring, and after building a 23-0 record, he got his first shot at a world title. It came against Oscar Larios on July 21, 2007, and with a 10th-round TKO he won the WBC featherweight title.
After defending that belt once, he made the move to super featherweight, where he won the WBA title with a fifth-round TKO over Whyber Garcia. He defended this belt once before suffering a huge upset when he was beaten by first-round TKO against Juan Carlos Salgado.
Linares took some time off and rebounded on March 27, 2010 with a majority decision win over Francisco Lorenzo. A four-fight winning streak earned him a shot at the WBC lightweight title, but despite a strong performance in that fight against Antonio DeMarco, he was stopped in the 11th-round because of a bad cut on his nose. In his next fight, he was stopped again, this time by Sergio Thompson by way of second-round TKO.
With consecutive losses for the first time in his career, Jorge Linares took just over six months off and came back on October 7, 2012 to beat Hector Velazquez by unanimous decision. He won six fights in a row to get another shot at the WBC lightweight title, and this time he came through with a fourth-round KO over Javier Prieto. After two title defenses, Linares then beat Anthony Croalla by unanimous decision to win the WBA and The Ring lightweight titles.