At Madison Square Garden before a packed house Vasyl Lomachenko moved his record to 11-1 and scored his ninth stoppage victory in what could be a contender for fight of the year as he stopped Jorge Linares at the 2:08 mark in the tenth round of a great battle between two world class fighters.
The fight was broadcast live on the ESPN sports network and Madison Square Garden was rumbling as the crowd got a great treat to a very good fight that took place for Linares’ World Boxing Association (WBA) Super World Lightweight Title.
The fight got off to a quick start for Lomachenko, who was “plugging into the matrix” as the fans call it, when Lomachenko uses his quick footwork and hand speed to dart in and out on opponents and try to turn around them laterally.
Linares was making the rounds close, however, and seemed just on the verge of taking control as the ring general at times as he was hitting Lomachenko to the body and lining him up for straight right hands that were getting parried or just missing the mark.
The excitement came in the sixth round when Linares landed a right hand to the chin that floored Lomachenko for the first time in his professional career. The roof nearly caved in on The Garden as everyone knew this was a career defining moment for one, or perhaps both fighters.
Lomachenko rose off the canvas and circled the ring to burn the remaining time in the sixth round. He then came out cautious in the seventh round, with Linares doing a good job of landing the clean and straight blows to maintain the momentum he had gained with the knockdown.
Lomachenko ramped up the pressure in the eighth round and was slowly building his momentum back over the coming rounds until the end came abruptly at the 2:08 mark of the tenth round when Lomachenko landed a left hook to the liver that crumpled Linares to the canvas.
Linares rose off the canvas, beating the ten count, but referee Ricky Gonzalez called a halt to the bout when he deemed Linares unable to continue as he was still in pain from the body shot.
It was a great fight and stunning victory at Madison Square Garden as Vasyl Lomachenko became the WBA Super World Lightweight Champion in a classic showdown.