Lomachenko stops Linares for historic 3rd world title

Arnold Nichols
May 13, 2018

Vasyl Lomachenko has become the quickest fighter in boxing to win world titles in three different weight classes, as he finishes Jorge Linares in the 10th round to become the new WBA Lightweight Champion.

"It was a great fight", said Lomachenko, who was knocked down for the first time as a pro.

Vasiliy Lomachenko at times looks invincible, a master technician who can do no wrong in the ring. Linares was more than willing to be Lomachenko's first challenge at 135 pounds, plotting a showdown with the 2008 and 2012 Gold Medal victor by fighting southpaws in his two previous bouts. The Ukrainian wizard was in uncharted territory.

In the second round, Linares returned fire to Lomachenko's rib cage but was left worse the wear for it: Lomachenko popped him back before raising a roar from the electrifying crowd with a forceful combination to the body and through Linares' guard upstairs.

When he eventually reached his feet, referee Ricky Gonzalez determined he couldn't continue at 2:08 of the 10th round.

Lomachenko was able to land a brutal shot to the liver in round ten which spelt and end to Linares.

At the time of the stoppage, Lomachenko trailed on one scorecard. Judges had it 86-84 Lomachenko, 86-84 Linares and 85-85, the same as Yahoo Sports. That remains to be seen but to be challenging to be a three-weight world champion in just his 12th professional fight is remarkable.

Going into this fight, we knew Loma was a huge talent, said Lomachenko's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank. The right hand is working and landing regularly, and it could be an early night for Barrera if he doesn't defend against it. The opponent is still unknown, but Lomachenko said that he would remain in the lightweight division.

When the stoppage came in the tenth one judge had Linares ahead whilst another had the fight level. In the second, Lomachenko used his speed to frustrate Linares and make him miss, ending the round with a scoring flurry.

This was an incredibly hard one to decide upon, but from what I've seen I have to give the Venezuelan fighter the slight edge on speed. Lomachenko shook his head confidently as he came back to his corner, as if to assure thousands of Ukrainian fans in the building that he was OK.

In his third pro fight, Lomachenko toyed with Gary Russell Jr.to win a decision and featherweight world title, which allowed him to tie the record for fewest fights needed to claim a world title.

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