Vasyl Lomachenko stops Linares in 10th, wins lightweight title

  • Vasyl Lomachenko stops Linares in 10th, wins lightweight title

Vasyl Lomachenko stops Linares in 10th, wins lightweight title

The 32-year-old accepted the richest purse of his career to fight Lomachenko, a minimum of $1.2m (£738k), thanks to the backing of ESPN, who will show the fight in the US.

As a professional fighter, Linares is the more experienced of the two and so this could prove valuable.

We will see if Linares who is on a 13-fight win streak and hasn't lost since 2012 can continue his dominant run in the division or if Lomachenko can end it and claim another world title in the process.

Lomachenko stopped Jorge Linares in the 10th round of their lightweight championship fight Saturday night, winning a title in his third weight class in just his 12th pro bout. Linares, the bigger fighter, seemed to be in control of the second round, though he had to take note of Lomachenko's speed and footwork.

Linares' stiff jab knocked Lomachenko off balance with just under two minutes remaining in the ninth round. Linares' defended well, countering with single punches on the back foot.

"I prepared for the last few rounds, and my father told me, 'You need to go to the body, '" Lomachenko said. Arum said Lomachenko will fight again on August 25 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, but wasn't sure if it would be against WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltran or if Lomachenko would go back to 130. Lomachenko was ahead 86-84 on judge Steve Weisfeld's scorecard, while Linares was up by the same score on Robin Taylor's card, and Julie Lederman had the fight even.

"As the naturally bigger man, the power has to be on Linares" side going into this fight.

The fight was competitive at times. Linares recognized he likely had to press the attack and opened up a little more in the late rounds.

Three inches taller and almost 10 pounds heavier after hydrating, Linares tried to impose his will by muscling Lomachenko when he could. It's almost impossible to argue against Lomachenko as the best fighter in the game right now. As if to exact revenge, Lomachenko ended the fifth round with a brilliant combination of five or six head shots and returned to his corner talking back over his shoulder to Linares. And then a gasp: as Lomachenko wandered forward in his southpaw stance, Linares dropped a bomb of a straight right down the pipe and landed Lomachenko on the seat of his trousers.

But then in the sixth, Lomachenko walked right into a right hand from Linares and met the canvas. Linares was to land a straight right on Lomachenko snapping the head back before Vasyl tried to fire back with some success. Lomachenko continued to stay on the attack in the fourth round.

"The fight was getting interesting", Linares said.