Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko made history in New York on Saturday night by stopping lightweight king Jorge Linares and becoming a three weight world champion in just 12 bouts.
The new WBA champion, Lomachenko, didn’t, however, have things all his own way in a hugely competitive matchup.
In the seventh, Linares landed a straight hand (arguably an orthodox fighter’s best weapon against a southpaw) on the button and sent “High-Tech’ to the seat of his shorts for the first time in his career.
“I knew about this punch, but I thought I already did what I needed to do. I was wrong and he caught me,” said the 30-year-old.
“He’s a great fighter and he gave me one more lesson in boxing,” he continued.
Moving into the tenth, the bout appeared to be on a knife edge before Lomachenko dug a left hook into the body of Linares sending the Venezualian champion to his knees. Linares, bloodied and bruised, returned to his feet as the count was reaching 10 but referee Ricky Gonzalez waved the fight off.
At the time of the TKO, the man from Ukraine was up by two points on one card, Linares was up by two on another and one judge had it level. A true reflection of the fight’s competitive nature.
In a hugely entertaining contest of skills and mind-bending speed, the bout was ultimately decided by one crunching hook. With very little between either man through ten rounds, the door remains very much open for a rematch.