Box: Lomachenko wins fight with Jorge Linares

Like Lomachenko, Linares has also won world titles in the featherweight and junior lightweight divisions.

The Ukrainian lost in his second professional fight - a WBO title fight at featherweight - but claimed the belt in his next bout, before adding the WBO super-featherweight title in his seventh fight to become the fastest two-weight world champion in history.

A strong combination of punches from Lomachenko opened up the defence of Linares, seeing Lomachnko sink a left hook to the liver sending the champion to the floor.

For everything Linares brought to the table in terms of speed, craft and fluid combinations, Lomachenko was somehow always one step ahead of him in a dazzling display of boxing artistry that can best be described as high-speed chess. Linares fell to his knees and couldn't get back up as the referee counted him off at 2:08. His father, Anatoly Lomachenko, is his trainer. Linares came in the more experienced fighter and the best opponent the young Loma has faced.

Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) will provide an interesting test for Lomachenko, though. I wanted to continue. But Linares wanted the fight and a compromise between the rival companies was reached with ESPN's coverage beginning at an earlier than usual time of 8pm EDT.

The fighter widely known as Vasyl said this week he prefers to use Vasiliy, his legal name.

Lomachenko weighed in at 134½ pounds Friday for his lightweight debut.

In the sixth round was something the fans Lomachenko did not expect.

Lomachenko had joked he should be called "no mas Chenko" for his habit of making opponents quit, but Linares made him earn this victory. However, he did not have enough to defeat the two-time Olympic gold medalist.

"I'm the natural lightweight here - he's coming up", Linares told reporters. Just before the fifth round ended, Lomachenko hit Linares with several power punches.

The second saw Lomachenko begin to pick-pocket Linares close up, using the angles and his footwork to create scoring opportunities. He dropped Lomachenko with a counter right hand that he put all of his might in as the crowd of 10,429 rose to their feet. Linares was warned for rabbit punches in the fourth and Lomachenko responded by landing hard right uppercuts. "It happens", Lomachenko said. By the 10th, the toll was too much for Linares, who crumbled to the canvas after the left hook to the ribs. But that was his last highlight.

  • Julie Sanders