“He’s an amazing fighter, technically,” said the noted trainer Ismael Salas about his former charge Jorge Linares, the Venezuelan globetrotter who was making his first appearance in a New York ring. True enough, but tonight at Madison Square Garden Linares was facing a more advanced technician in Vasyl “High Tech” Lomachenko. The Ukrainian ended the contest with a left hook to the liver in the 10th frame, but not before being knocked down for the first time as a pro and reportedly for the first time in 11 years.
Linares, who entered the contest on a 13-fight winning streak and was defending his WBA lightweight belt, imbued drama into the contest in the sixth round with a straight right hand that put Lomachenko on the seat of his pants. But Lomachenko wasn’t badly hurt and picked up where he left off in the next frame. In round 8, he opened a cut in the corner of Linares’ left eye, which emboldened him to pick up the pace. A blazing combination preceded the knockout blow. Linares beat the count but was in obvious distress and referee Ricky Gonzalez waved it off.
Lomachenko improved to 11-1 with his eighth straight win by stoppage. Linares declined to 44-4. ESPN lead commentator Joe Tessitore made a big deal out of the fact that Lomachenko became a champion in three weight classes in only his 12th pro fight, the fastest in history. Considering that only nine pounds separates the bookends, we are underwhelmed. However, let’s enjoy “High Tech” while we can as he is a fighter for the ages.
In the co-feature, a 10 round bout contested at the catchweight of 150 pounds, Carlos Adames of the Dominican Republic advanced to 14-0 (11) with a unanimous decision over Mexico’s Alejandro Barrera (29-5).
It was a workmanlike performance by Adames who did not live up to his hype. The scores were 98-92, 97-93, and 96-94. Save for brief flurries, Barrera spent the contest boxing off his back foot.
In an 8-round lightweight contest, Jamel Herring 16-2 (9), a 32-year-old ex-Marine from Long Island, improved to 17-2 (10) with a fifth round stoppage of Mexican journeyman Juan Pablo Sanchez (30-16). Herring, who trains with Terence Crawford, won all of the completed rounds but had to overcome a nasty cut over his right eye, the result of a second round head butt. This was Herring’s first start for Top Rank after leaving PBC. He was one of four ex-Olympians showcased on the undercard.
In an 8-round featherweight contest, Michael Conlan (7-0) pitched a shutout over Spain’s Ibon Larrinaga (10-2). Conlan’s next fight will be a homecoming fight in Belfast on June 30th.
Junior welterweight Teofimo Lopez (9-0) needed only 66 seconds to dismiss Brazil’s obliging Vitor Jonas Freitas.
In a 6-round lightweight clash, Mikaela Mayer outclassed New Zealand’s Birthony “Baby Pit Bull” Nansen. Mayer (5-0) won all six rounds on all three cards.
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