Lomachenko vs Linares: Fight of the Year?
By Dan McConnell
After a sensational 2017 defeating former WBA and IBO Super-Bantamweight Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux. Vasil Lomachenko makes his 2018 debut on Saturday 12th May in Madison Square Garden New York City.
After retaining the WBO Junior Lightweight Title, the man nicknamed ‘The Matrix’ who holds a professional record of 10-1 is moving up to the 135-pound division for a major showdown with WBA Lightweight champion Jorge Linares, in what is arguably on paper the best boxing match of 2018.
Ukraine’s Lomachenko is regarded by many as the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet. The two-time Olympic gold medalist and decorated amateur became a world champion in just his third professional fight. He has made his last four opponents either quit or have their corner stop the fight, including much feared former Super-Bantamweight phenom Guillermo Rigondeaux.
Current WBA Lightweight Champion Jorge Linares is a veteran of the sport with a 44-3 record, enters on a 13-fight winning streak including four title defenses’ and seven knockouts. He is coming off a 12-round unanimous decision win over Mercito Gesta.
Both Lomachenko and Linares were hoping to face former WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia, who chose to move up 140 pounds and captured the WBC junior Welterweight title from Sergey Lipinets in March. He ended up dropping his belt shortly thereafter.
Without this challenge, Lomachenko and Linares realized since they couldn’t face-off against Garcia, why not face each other?
Also on the card is Irish sensation Michael Conlan 6-0, who faces the Spanish fighter Ibon Larrinaga in the Featherweight divison.
The card begins at 8PM and will air live on ESPN in the States and in the early hours on Boxnation in the UK.