‘Hi-Tech’ Becomes the Fastest Man on the Planet to Become a Three Weight World Champion, After a TKO Victory over Jorge Linares…
Vasily Lomachenko has strengthened the case that he is the pound-for-pound greatest boxer on the planet. He overcame the first real challenge of his professional career, in Venezuelan RING lightweight champion Jorge Linares, to seal his third title in a different weight class.
He adds the lightweight belt to his featherweight and super-featherweight straps. The bigger and stronger Linares was a tough test for Lomachenko. The pair met in New York’s theatre for boxing royalty, Madison Square Garden, in front of a crowd of over 10,000, with millions watching around the world.
Although he had a visible physical disadvantage to the rehydrated Linares, Lomachenko demonstrated his unbelievable movement, timing and distance control throughout the fight. There truly is nobody like him in terms of style at the moment.
Lomachenko settled much quicker into the fight than Linares. He established his distance and used his southpaw stance and unorthodox movement to his advantage, cutting angles and jabbing away at his opponent. Linares resorted to rabbit punches to try and get back into the fight, but Lomachenko had it his way for the first five rounds.
However, it didn’t go entirely to plan. Lomachenko appeared to get complacent and at the end of round six, ate a shot straight down the middle that knocked him down for the first time in his professional career. He managed to hang on, but Linares had grown in confidence. It was power versus precision, and Lomachenko was in real danger.
The TKO came in round ten. ‘Hi-Tech’ managed to snap a crisp hook into the liver of Linares, who took a knee straight away. It was a hugely entertaining fight, and full credit to the Venezuelan champion, who really ground his way back.
— ESPN (@espn) May 13, 2018
This was remarkable for a number of reasons. The first is that Lomachenko is just such an unbelievable talent. He’s been boxing since the age of four, but famously his father pulled him out of the gym and forced him to do almost ten years of Ukrainian dance, hence his incredible footwork.
Lomachenko has become a three weight champion in only 12 professional fights. This is ludicrous. To put it in perspective, it’s much faster than modern legends like Oscar de la Hoya (23), Floyd Mayweather (34) or Manny Pacquaio (41). Unbelievable.
One of the biggest problem’s of Lomachenko’s career has been finding people to fight. Before getting the TKO against Linares, ‘Loma’ had made four successive opponents retire on their stools. One potential opponent is WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltrán, in what would be a unification fight.
Every generation a fighter comes along who is just truly special. Lomachenko is the man of the moment. Boxing fans recognize his greatness. It will take beating a world-class North American opponent for his true talent to be appreciated by mainstream fans. Let’s hope one day it happens.