Lomachenko TKO’s Linares in 10th to Win Lightweight Title
Boxing has had its ups and downs through the years. They heyday of the 80’s and 90’s are long gone, but the fight game keeps chugging. Last night, it was world junior lightweight champ, Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1) against lightweight champ Jorge Linares. Linares came in the more experienced fighter and the best opponent the young Loma has faced.
In 11 previous fights, Loma has already made history by winning the world featherweight title in just his third fight as a pro. That win was a decision against the outmatched Gary Russell Jr. It was the fastest a fighter had ever won his first world title.
In his seventh fight as a pro, Loma would move up to face Jr. welterweight champ, Roman “Rocky” Martinez. He would dominate the fight and knockout Martinez in the fifth round to gain his second world title.
The hype for Loma started during an amateur career that saw him go 396-1 to gain the title of best amateur fighter ever. He would follow that by winning Olympic gold medals for Ukraine in 2008 and 2012.
On this night, he would face a game champion in Linares (44-4, 27 KO’s), considered the number one lightweight in the world. Like Lomachenko, Linares has also won world titles in the featherweight and junior lightweight divisions.
In round one, the first thing noticeable was the two-inch height advantage Linares had. He would take advantage and start working the jab showing Loma that this was not going to be an easy night.
In round two, the two fighters exchanged shots and the crowd began to get into the fight. By the fourth round, Linares, who has had cut issues, was already starting to swell in his right eye. By this time, the speed that Lomachenko possessed was very evident.
In round six, Linares would land a straight right down Broadway and put Loma on the deck for the first time in his career. The round was coming to a close so Linares could not take advantage and jump on Loma.
When the seventh round began, one would think that Linares would have jumped all over Loma, but he did just the opposite. That allowed Lomachenko to recover and take the round away from Linares.
The cut on the right eye of Linares just kept getting worse and worse and Loma kept taking advantage of it. Then, with under a minute left in the 10th round, Loma landed a devastating body shot that crippled Linares as he went down. He would try to continue but looked very weak and the referee decided that he had enough.
It would be the third world championship for Lomachenko in just his 12th fight of his career. Of course, the talk of a rematch would begin, but I don’t know if that will ever happen.
The logical fight for Lomachenko now would be a unification fight with the other lightweight champ, Raymundo Beltran. One thing is for sure, the excitement in the boxing world is back and Lomachenko has plenty of time to make more history.