On a rainy Saturday night in New York, World Boxing Association lightweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko defeated Jorge Linares to retain his title. With this victory, Lomachenko became a world champion in three separate weight classes in a dozen professional fights. And his case for becoming boxing's pound-for-pound champion got significantly stronger.
A Historic Battle
Although the most technically adept fighters made it seem easy at times, this historic clash was everything but easy. In front of a raucous crowd of 10,429 in Madison Square Garden's big room, the two-time Olympic gold medalist demonstrated his humanity by rising from the floor for the first time in a decade at the end of the sixth round and knocking out his opponent with a powerful body blow in the tenth.
The Southpaw boxer has won championships in all three weight classes in fewer fights than previous boxing greats such as Oscar De La Hoya (23), Floyd Mayweather Jr. (34), and Manny Pacquiao (41). With three victories in 20 bouts between 1984 and 1988, Australian boxer Jeff Fenech holds the record for the most titles won in a single weight class. He competed in the bantamweight, junior featherweight, and featherweight weight classes.
Linares (44-4, 27 KOs) looked to loom over Lomachenko at the opening bell, much more than he did during the weigh-in the previous day. Linares is predicted to be three inches taller and 10 pounds heavier after rehydration. In the first round, the Ukrainian was different from the quicker boxer. Lomachenko was named the winner based on the total of the judges' ratings. Linares, a 32-year-old fighter originally from Venezuela but now resides in Las Vegas, is a superb promoter and a three-division champion the bookmakers grossly undervalued. Many bettors would mostly bet his defeat when they place their bets using low wagering casino bonus offers. Linares took advantage of his opponent's hesitation to rush in by manipulating the pocket and scoring in spots where the oddsmakers were doing their arithmetic.
Highlights of the Epic Face-Off
Lomachenko had modified his approach and utilized feints to push Linares off of position after just two rounds. After throwing Linares off balance with manoeuvres, he punished him with shots from awkward angles. Linares' mood was deteriorating while Lomachenko was just getting started. Without time to devise a new plan, the astute veteran was forced to resort to a flurry of bunny punches in the fourth round to halt Lomachenko's foreboding momentum, earning him a warning from the referee and the venomous ire of Lomachenko's camp.
Lomachenko appeared unstoppable by the fifth round, keeping his distance and dictating the action with the same flawless, balletic footwork that has led elite challenger after elite challenger to quit on their stools rather than continue enduring a beating that has been as mentally taxing as it has been physically. He finished the round with a well-timed flurry of four punches that had the raucous audience in laughter as the bell rang.
The one-way traffic, with a symphony of hot blows and jabs, continued into the sixth, with Linares finding purchase against the run of play with a compact right-hand flush on the jaw that dumped Lomachenko onto the seat of his trunks near the end of the frame. It was now time to fight.
As the high-speed chess battle developed, Linares seemed to be winning exchanges with strength rather than finesse, and he performed enough intensive bodily work to take the seventh. But Lomachenko returned with a fury in the eighth round, unleashing a sequence of exquisite combinations and creating a gash above the Venezuelan's left eye.
Linares was able to return fire anytime Lomachenko seemed to have gained momentum, culminating in a devastating flurry in the ninth that ended the stalking Ukrainian. Lomachenko's shots ricocheted off Linares' head until the champion was knocked out at 2:08 of the tenth round with a left hook to the liver so beautifully timed that it was hardly apparent to the naked eye. Lomachenko walked away from the wreckage and into a neutral position, his right-hand thumping.
Lomachenko was crowned the winner. Although this outcome would undoubtedly boost his status, the beaten champion managed to climb to his feet just in time to beat the 10-count, but referee Michael Ortega had had enough and waved it off. It was Linares' first defeat in five years.
Lomachenko became a world champion in three different weight classes in fewer than ten bouts with the victory, giving casino enthusiasts a chance to win with their casino bonuses if they predicted correctly. He did it in the fewest number of engagements, just 12 in all. Formerly, the record was held by Australian boxing hero Jeff Fenech, a future Hall of Famer who won world championships at bantamweight and junior featherweight before claiming the featherweight title in his 20th bout in 1988.
As we delve deeper into the epic face-off between Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares, let's look at the astounding punch statistics defining this historic boxing battle. Both fighters showcased their skills and determination, making every punch count in their quest for victory. Here's a breakdown of the punches landed and thrown by each boxer, giving us a glimpse of the intensity and precision displayed during this thrilling match.
Linares was overwhelmed before he got the knockdown, but he could contend with the Ukrainian favourite in the subsequent rounds and knock out Lomachenko with a counter right hand in the sixth. Linares knocked out Lomachenko in round 6 as he had done in his previous five bouts. Lomachenko had to push himself to the edge, outbox Linares, and score some tremendous knockout shots to win the fight. Among these hits was a particularly lethal liver shot that saved the day.
Lomachenko had beaten Linares, who was largely considered the best lightweight in the world before the fight. To defend his 130-pound championship, Lomachenko fought four opponents: Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga, and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Lomachenko won the title after defeating Linares at 130 pounds.