Vasyl Lomachenko vs Jorge Linares: Big Fight Breakdown
April 12, 2018
Mouth-watering Vasyl Lomachenko vs Jorge Linares clash set for May 12th
After months of speculation and talks between both camps, Vasyl Lomachenko (11-1, 8 KOs) and Jorge Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) finally agreed to face-off in the ring on May 12th in New York City.
It looked like another super-fight was set to be scrapped through frustratingly failed negotiations, but this mouth-watering match-up is signed, sealed and will be delivered to the fans at Madison Square Garden.
May was set to be an incredible month for the sport, with this lightweight battle being contested the week after Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin were scheduled go toe to toe in their highly awaited rematch in Las Vegas.
That bout has since been scrapped, but Loma vs Linares is another great encounter involving two esteemed stars with much still to prove.
Ukrainian maestro Lomachenko will make another step up in weight to 135lbs for his latest outing, as he aims to become a three-division world titlist in what will be only his 12th professional bout. A potentially incredible feat if he can clinch the WBA and Ring Magazine belts from his South American opponent.
Meanwhile, popular Venezuelan Linares has already proved himself to be a special fighter, recovering from earlier career setbacks to reign as a four-time world champion in three weight classes.
This would undoubtedly be his finest success to date if he can overcome a fighter many, perhaps prematurely, already consider to be one of the greatest in history.
So, who will prevail in this intriguing clash on May 12th in the Big Apple?
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Vasyl Lomachenko: ‘Hi-Tech’ can further prove his status as ‘best’ in the world
Since bursting on to the pro scene back in October 2013 with a four-round annihilation of Mexican Jose Ramirez, Lomachenko has swiftly become the most eye-catching fighter in the world.
The two-time Olympic Gold medallist, from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games, has quickly established his reputation in just 11 ring outings to date after arguably the most accomplished amateur career ever achieved.
‘Loma’ will now bid to solidify his legacy by beating his biggest name opponent so far as a pro, as he steps up to lightweight in his constant quest for silverware, following successful spells at 126lbs and 130lbs.
The now 30-year-old is ranked as one of the top pound-for-pound stars of the sport by most outlets, in light of that merciless destruction of fellow double Olympic Gold medal victor Guillermo Rigondeaux in December.
Despite being the challenger stepping up divisions, Lomachenko is regarded as the odds-on 1/7 favourite with William Hill to have his hand raised come the end of the Linares meeting.
The win over ‘Rigo’ saw the dynamic Ukrainian star’s fourth consecutive fight in which a foe has quit on their stool or been forced to retire from proceedings.
This followed on from making Nicholas Walters declare “No Mas”, forcing Jason Sosa’s corner to save him from a beating and ultimately overwhelming and embarrassing Miguel Marriaga into submission.
Jorge Linares: ‘The King’ seeks to defend his throne
Against Linares, ‘Loma’ possesses all the attributes and traits needed to rally to another successful showing. His constant pressure and threatening feints can keep his opponent from getting into his desired rhythm.
The stylish South American is at his most clinical when given time to set and throw his flashy combinations, but against Lomachenko, he won’t be afforded that luxury. It’s likely the latter who will seize the initiative in the exchanges with his savvy aggression.
There’s no doubting that Linares has some spectacular offence, highlighted in front of the UK fans in the two Manchester meetings with Anthony Crolla. But his defence can be far less encouraging at times and he is definitely there to be hit during the course of 12 rounds, particularly for someone as accurate as Lomachenko.
One aspect which could provide decisive moments during the heat of battle is Linares’ utilisation of the high guard when in defensive mode. Bending at the waist and pivoting while waiting for an opponent’s onslaught to cease, ‘Loma’ will be able to capitalise on these opportunities and manipulate the guard to his benefit, something he has become a master of.
Another boost for Lomachenko in this clash is the simple fact he’s a southpaw, and Linares has showed many weaknesses in dealing with such fighters.
The 32-year-old’s reliable lead hand is restricted in this instance and he has been badly busted up before against southpaw challengers, with the reigning lightweight king also known for being cut up and bloodied in his career.
In his last outing he looked far from his sharpest against Mercito Gesta, there were many moments of evident struggle in with Britain’s Luke Campbell and he was previously beaten up and eventually halted by Antonio DeMarco.
Albeit the DeMarco bout was back in 2011, but there are clear signs of promise for Lomachenko heading into this clash. He will definitely be the most efficient, skilful and intelligent southpaw Linares has faced, which is a worrying prospect for ‘the Golden Boy’ based on past pairings.
Nobody thought esteemed Cuban ‘Rigo’ would have been one to quit in the ring against evidently the world’s most mercurial talent last year, but it was a shocking conclusion that came to fruition on American soil.
So who’s to suggest Linares may not see the final bell at MSG this time around too? He has been battered and stopped in the past, but has also showcased he has the heart to dig deep and grit it out.
Although, he hasn’t faced anyone of ‘Hi-Tech’s’ quality during his impressive surge in recent years, and highlighted in earlier events, it can be a truly frustrating and hopeless conquest when the going gets tough against the Ukrainian.
The defending champion will enter the ring on May 12th as the 9/2 outsider with BetVictor to secure a famous victory in New York, one that would truly catapult his current stature in the sport.
But, after an admirable run of 13 victories since March 2012, Linares’ gallant streak looks likely of coming to an abrupt end against Lomachenko, a relentless southpaw who looks to have his number come May 12th.
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