Image result for lomachenko vs linaresLast night on ESPN Boxing we had a real treat, as Vasyl Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KO’s) defeated Jorge Linares (44-4, 27 KO’s) via 10th round TKO to become the WBAsuper & TheRing Lightweight Champion.  Lomachenko made history last night, becoming the fastest fighter ever to win a title in a third weight division.  It took Oscar De La Hoya 22 fights to do so, Mayweather did it in his 35th fight, and Manny Pacquiao in his 41st.  Lomachenko has set a new record that I seriously doubt will ever be broken.  With last nights victory, Loma might have just cemented himself as the number 1 pound for pound fighter in the world, as he defeated his biggest test to date.  Although I believe that Terence Crawford is the actual #1, Loma has definitely moved past him on at least some pound for pound lists.

The first round was a feeler just as expected, as both men seemed to really respect each others ring skills.  Linares had a great second round, as perhaps with the move up in weight, Lomachenko was being a bit more cautious.  Rounds 3 and 4 were also pretty close, but Lomachenko got more comfortable and started opening up bit.  Even though the hand speed of both fighters was very close, Loma’s reflexes defensively were a lot quicker then those of Linares.  Realizing this, Lomachenko got a bit careless, and then something happened that we were all shocked to see.  The overly confident Lomachenko walked right in to a perfectly timed straight right hand from Linares, and was dropped on his back side in the fifth round.  A stunning turn of events, as the arguable #1 fighter in the world was dropped for the first time in his career.  The knockdown did come close to the end of the round though.  Loma looked slightly jelly-legged when he got up, but recovered quickly and the fight moved on.

Linares, gaining confidence, looked great in the next 2 rounds, and he edged both out on my scorecard.  At that point, in the 8th, Lomachenko perhaps feeling a slight sense of urgency, turned on the jets, and went to that level of skilled boxing that only he can go to.  In the 9th round, it was more of the same, a pretty close round, but Loma started peppering Linares with little combinations as he often does.

Image result for lomachenko vs linares

At the beginning of the 10th round, Linares was looking good, as he was still flashing great hand speed late in the fight, and actually connected on a few shots in the beginning of the round.  Towards the middle of the round, Loma would once again step in to that gear that only he can, and started knocking Linares’ head around with great combinations.  Linares put his hands high in a peek-a-boo guard, and thats when the damage really happened.  Linares, with his hands high, totally exposed his rib cage, and Lomachenko landed a devastating sweeping left right to the liver, which sent Linares down to the canvas writhing in pain.  Linares would get up at the count of 9, but the grimace on his face from the body shot told the referee that he was in too much pain from the punch, and the fight was stopped right there.  Lomachenko is now a 3 division world champion, and continues to be on top of the boxing world.

 

-David Jukic, INSIDE RINGSIDE

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