Vasyl Lomachenko Gets Tested By Jorge Linares, Scores Big KO

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     Lomachenko could become a three-weight world champion in just his 12th professional fight

Vasiliy Lomachenko gave a glimpse on Saturday of what he may become.

However, the hand and foot speed of double Olympic champion Lomachenko - considered among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world - proved decisive against his bigger opponent. In a diluted era of "title belts", Loma's achievement of getting three divisional titles faster than anyone isn't the thing to focus on.

"He knows what he's in for", Linares said. In contrast, Linares moves well with his feet and at the waist, but can be often caught out by going back in straight lines.

But Linares, a good boxer with solid fundamentals, did something that no fighter had ever done.

Vasyl Lomachenko is looking for something that Jorge Linares believes he can deliver. "But I don't think anybody's pushed me to bring out that monkey on my back that's right there and to show the world what I can do, too". "What bothers me is I'm wondering if this fight will be interesting for the fans, interesting for the public".

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The logical fight for Lomachenko now would be a unification fight with the other lightweight champ, Raymundo Beltran. It's unclear if he intends to challenge for more titles at 135 pounds, or if he will return to 130.

"Linares is a great champion and the fight was good for the fans and everybody", he said. Lomachenko took it well and fired punches back at Linares.

The great ones always seek out the most hard challenges, and Lomachenko said he would like to unify.

"The last two opponents I faced were southpaws".

Wins in those kinds of fights are the ones that earn boxers lasting recognition and send them to the Hall of Fame.

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But Lomachenko, whose level of domination had caused his previous four victims to run up the white flag of surrender rather than to remain on the wrong end of beatdowns, had to be just as aware that victory on this night was not ensured.

Vasiliy Lomachenko smiles after his victory against Jorge Linares, of Venezuela, during their WBA lightweight championship boxing match Saturday, May 12, 2018, in NY. He is more complete than the self-proclaimed TBE, a fighter as comfortable on the inside as he is on the outside.

Linares landed a right hand that stopped Lomachenko from moving forward with just under 40 seconds left in the eighth.

According to CompuBox punch statistics, Lomachenko landed 213 of 627 punches (34 percent) and Martirosyan and Linares connected on 207 of 739 (28 percent).

Jorge Linares is the man to beat in the lightweight division. He timed Lomachenko perfectly with a succinct overhand right with 30 seconds 'til bell, but the eastern European again had the last laugh as he rubber-stamped his dominance.

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