Jorge Linares vs. Vasyl Lomachenko has all the makings of a potential fight of the ages. In this golden era of boxing, the man they call king will defend his lightweight title against the greatest amateur boxer of all time who since turning professional has forced four opponents into retirement. The former is Jorge Linares of Venezuela (44-3; 27 KOs), currently fighting out of Japan and the UK. The latter is Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1; 8 KOs), the second most high profile fighter to represent the Soviet States after Gennady Golovkin.
This main event is scheduled for 12 rounds. It takes place on May 12 in Madison Square Garden and airs live on ESPN with a fight time of 8:00 p.m. ET. And just to sprinkle an extra dose of magic over this battle of the boxing’s technical wizards, the victor gets a date with current super lightweight title holder and pound-for-pound contender, Mikey Garcia. The narrative doesn’t get much better than that. It’s a win-win scenario for the neutral boxing fan.
Jorge Linares recent form and fight record
King Jorge is fresh out from a unanimous victor in January against Mercito Gesta, which he won comfortably. Prior to that, British title hopeful Luke Campbell gave his a run for his money is a fight which also ended on points. The Venezuelan has been making a habit of going the distance of late, as can be underlined with his brace win over Anthony Crolla. We have to rewind to 2015 to recall the last time Linares knocked out an opponent.
The 30-year-old has been undefeated over the past six years as a professional boxer. But the champ has also caught some flack for his inability to raise his KO ration and that’s something that may be holding him back right now from being mentioned as a leader in the pound-for-pound rankings.
|27/01/18||Mercito Gesta||Forum, Inglewood||W||UD|
|23/09/17||Luke Campbell||Forum, Inglewood||W||SD|
|25/03/17||Anthony Crolla||Manchester Arena (formerly M.E.N Arena), Manchester||W||UD|
|24/09/16||Anthony Crolla||Manchester Arena (formerly M.E.N Arena), Manchester||W||UD|
|10/10/15||Ivan Cano||El Poliedro, Caracas||W||KO|
Vasyl Lomachenko recent form and fight record
Where do we start. Lomachenko is breaking boxing records left, right and centre. No one else in the history of the sport has held a candle to his short, albeit impenetrable reign to total become the GOAT. As a 396-1 amateur and two time Olympic Gold Medalist, the man they call Hi-Tech has carved out a speciality for making boxers quit on their stall. No other man has forced four opponents into retirement back-t0-back. That’s why he’s a cut above every other athlete in boxing right now.
The 32-year-old fought three times last year, but as mentioned, hasn’t tasted 12 rounds in some time. Even against his most recent foe, Guillermo Rigondeaux, who is the only other active two-time Olympic champion, he breezed through the fight as if he were in third gear.
|09/12/17||Guillermo Rigondeaux||Madison Square Garden Theater, New York||W||RTD|
|05/08/17||Miguel Marriaga||Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles||W||RTD|
|08/04/17||Jason Sosa||MGM National Harbor, Oxon Hill||W||RTD|
|26/11/16||Nicholas Walters||Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Las Vegas||W||RTD|
|11/06/16||Roman Martinez||Madison Square Garden Theater, New York||W||KO|
Jorge Linares vs Vasyl Lomachenko prediction
Whoever dares to question the ability of Vasyl Lomachenko as one of the greatest fighters of all time needs his head checked. His performances remarkably improve every time he steps into the ring. We are now at a point where we naturally expect the Ukrainian to force his opponents into retirement, such is his dominance in the lightweight divisions. And that’s down to an unparalleled combination of technique and ring IQ that the majority of pro boxers simply can’t get in reach of. Just watch this video on how to trains for fights relying on eye-hand coordination exercises that, for the laymen, may seem totally unconnected to boxing.
Jorge is one of our favourite fighters and an exquisite boxer in his own right. Against any other man on the planet he would be odds on to retain his belt, but on this momental occasion he goes in as the underdog. And there’s no shame in that if the man you’re defending your belt against is a freak athlete. Going on Linares’ last two title defences, we have observed several weaknesses brought to light by the likes of Mercito Gesta and Luke Campbell; King Jorge knows how to win rounds with ease but is prone to taking his foot off the gas mid-way through fights. Campbell in particular was edging ever closer to a split decision win and many argue that if not for another two rounds, the decision would have gone in his favour.
You simply can’t coast through 12 rounds when Hi-Tech is peppering away at you with jabs from all sorts of angles. Lomachenko always starts with a bag and ups the tempo incrementally. Linares is fast but not capable of sustaining such pressure. That’s why we favour Lomachenko for a unanimous decision win in this title fight. Linares will have too much pride to quit like his predecessors however the ref may intervene if the fight becomes two one-sided.
Jorge Linares vs Vasyl Lomachenko undercard
Fights also scheduled at Madison garden and available to view on ESPN include:
- Carlos Adames vs. Alejandro Barrera, 10 rounds, welterweights
- Michael Conlan vs. Ibon Larrinaga, 8 rounds, featherweights
- Teofimo Lopez Jr. vs. Vitor Freitas, 8 rounds, lightweights
- Jamel Herring vs. Juan Pablo Sanchez, 8 rounds, lightweights
- Fazliddin Gaibnazarov vs. Jesus Silveyra, 8 rounds, junior welterweights
- Mikaela Mayer vs. Baby Nansen, 6 rounds, female lightweights
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