Latest news, results and reaction
from fights around the globe

Lomachenko knocks out Linares in spectacular fight at Madison Square Garden

Vasyl Lomachenko becomes the fastest three-weight world champion in history, though he didn't have it all his own way.

By Dean Goulding   - @intuboxing

Vasyl Lomachenko climbed off the canvas to produce a dramatic 10th round stoppage victory over Jorge Linares to become the fastest three-weight world champion in boxing history.

'Hi Tech' didn't have it all his own way, however. It certainly wasn't the dominating performance we've come to expect after his masterclasses against the likes of Guillermo Rigondeaux and Nicholas Walters in recent years.

For much of the fight, Linares was able to use his significant size advantage to keep Lomachenko at range and kept the fight close, even knocking Lomachenko down for the first time in his professional career with a vicious straight right hand in the 6th round. In fact, before the stoppage, the judges had the fight dead even, one scoring it 86-84 Lomachenko, another 86-84 for Linares and the third scoring it 85-85.

In the early stages of the fight, the smaller Lomachenko stalked Linares across the ring looking to land dazzling combinations, with the lightweight champion content to stand in front of him and keep him at bay with the jab. Lomachenko, though seemingly hampered by an injury to his right shoulder, picked up the pace in the 5th round, leaving Linares with a bloody nose after landing some stiff combinations.

That would all change towards the end of the 6th, when Lomachenko, usually careful with his footwork, walked into a punishing straight right hand from Linares and found himself of the canvas for the first time in his professional career. The Ukrainian, perhaps momentarily guilty of overconfidence, quickly composed himself and returned to utilising the angles we're used to seeing in the 7th round, though understandably taking a more cautious approach on the way in.

In the 8th, Lomachenko opened up a cut over Linares' left eye, using it as target practice for the remainder of the round. Linares fought back in the 9th with some well-timed left hooks and a higher work rate.

The champion started the 10th in the same manner before Lomachenko reeled off a flashy four-punch combination ending with a brutal left hook to the body that sent the Venezuelan crashing to the canvas. Linares narrowly beat the 10-count, but the referee deemed him unfit to continue and waved off the fight.

With the victory, Lomachenko won a title in a third weight division (the WBA Super World Lightweight title), in what was only his 12th professional fight, making him the fastest ever three-weight world champion, an incredible feat.

However, with Lomachenko, deemed by many before this fight to be the current pound-for-pound number 1, seemingly unable to put the much bigger Linares 'in the Matrix' as he has done so easily with opponents in the lower weight classes, questions will certainly arise as to whether the newly crowned lightweight champion should avoid moving up any further and even perhaps move back down to super-featherweight.

For someone looking to cement his place in the history books, however, the title of 'fastest ever four-weight champion' might prove too tempting a prospect.