Through 11 expert fights, Lomachenko was a tourism de force, conserve for his second pro bout, once he brazenly tested grizzled vet Orlando Salido because that a title and was right outpointed.

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He choose up the moniker “No-Mas-Chenko” along the way. After all, the two-time Olympic gold medalist had actually stopped four consecutive fighters prior to he met Jorge Linares top top Saturday in ~ Madison Square Garden in the ESPN main event.

And now, Lomachenko (11-1, 9 knockouts) discovered himself ~ above the chair of his pants, the an outcome of a pinpoint Linares best hand in ring 6. Because that the very first time in his illustrious career, Lomachenko was knocked down. But he didn’t continue to be down. Of course he didn’t.


Photo by Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden young Promotions

He gathered himself, even if his pride to be wounded, and also soldiered on. Slowly however surely, Lomachenko regained his momentum with his excellent, head-bobbing push that confounded Linares every night.

And finally, in round 10, Lomachenko connected with a bevy the shots, yielded in dizzying fashion, and also when the left hand dug into Linares’ solar plexus, it to be a wrap. Linares (44-4, 27 KOs) to win referee Ricky Gonzalez’s 10 count, but he couldn’t also stand erect, let alone fight anymore. Gonzalez waved it off at 2:08 that the frame, and Lomachenko choose up probably the many impressive victory of his career.

He to be met through true adversity for the very first time due to the fact that he shed to Salido, and this time, that prospered. V the victory, Lomachenko choose up Linares’ RING/WBA lightweight championship, and shattered the document for fewest fights needed to claim titles in 3 weight divisions.

“It was a an excellent fight,” Lomachenko said. “That appropriate hand (from Linares), it was a good punch. That happens. I prepared for the last couple of rounds, and my father (and trainer Anatoly) told me, ‘You need to go come the body.’ Linares is a great champion, and also the hit was great for the fans and everybody.”

And the left hand come the human body from Lomachenko to just great — it might have been important to pull the end the fight. Linares was up 86-85 on one scorecard, Lomachenko was ahead by the same score on an additional card, and also a 3rd judge had the hit even, 85-85, at the time of the stoppage.

Early on, that didn’t appear Lomachenko would be forced to create any kind of dramatics to success the action-packed fight. The 30-year-old that trains the end of Oxnard, California, was beating Linares come the punch, and he had the ability to let loose with four- and also five-punch combine time and also again.

When Linares search to use his significant size advantage on the within (152 pounds on fight night to Lomachenko’s 138), the wunderkind simply slid end to his best to produce some distance and also escape harm’s way. Well, Lomachenko made that look straightforward anyway.

He’s always made the look simple in the ring. Like once he absolutely outclassed billy Rigondeaux in December and forced the pound-for-pound entrant to quit top top his stool. Or once Lomachenko coaxed Nicholas Walters into submission.

But together the fight wore on, naught really appeared easy about this outing. Finally, Lomachenko met a counterpart who could nearly match that in the speed department, and a fighter in Linares that was by far the biggest opponent he’d ever before stepped into the ring with.

But because that every 2 or three shots Lomachenko appeared to floor flush, Linares linked on one shot, and a grazing one in ~ that. He just couldn’t find the appropriate distance. Lomachenko wisely maneuvered in front of Linares in ~ mid-range; close enough where Linares couldn’t utilize his premium range, but not so lot that Linares might impose his exceptional strength.

The fighter who declared titles in ~ 126 pounds and 130 work light emotional to open up up the Linares guard before he peppered with lightning rapid shots. The Venezuelan was plainly frustrated, and he began to fill up top top desperation best hands, hoping one would finish matters.

When the stepped ago and associated on that straight right hand the floored Lomachenko, it showed up Linares had actually him in actual trouble. Yet there were only a couple of ticks remaining in the 6th round. Lomachenko had the ability to collect himself once Round 7 rolling around, and also Linares’ moment to capitalize vanished.


Photo through Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden young Promotions

“He didn’t surprised me together I thought he was going to surprised me,” stated Linares, 32. “The hit was acquiring interesting. That was very close, but he did surprised me with that human body shot. I want to continue. I want to keep working, yet the ref quit the fight.”

Linares can have wanted to continue, however he showed up spent, and he stays to fight another day. It’s a ethical victory for the golden Boy Promotions fighter, who looked shaky in 2 lightweight title defense victories start the bout, and was counted together a hefty underdog to turn back the difficulty of Lomachenko.

If anything, Linares’ stock improved in defeat, yet his lightweight championship is currently gone, and also so is his 13-fight win streak. It’s Lomachenko that plows forward to even greater occasions as his star continues to grow.

He’ll return august 25 in ~ The Forum in Inglewood, California, top top ESPN, his room of reputation promoter, peak Rank CEO Bob Arum, told reporters. The expectation is that Loma will confront WBO titleholder ray Beltran in a lightweight title marriage fight.

“Thank you come Jorge Linares,” Lomachenko said, “for providing me one much more lesson in this amazing sport.”

Lomachenko is THE RING’s No. 3 pound-for-pound fighter, however he appears to have actually no peer in boxing.

It’s walk to take it a truly one-of-a-kind fighter to optimal Lomachenko now that he’s smack-dab in his strong prime, no much longer the green fighter relying on a great amateur career and also tremendous athleticism.

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Is the Mikey Garcia? Or will Lomachenko have to push himself to one even higher weight class to satisfy a fighter who have the right to beat him?

It’s said that you never know how truly great a fighter is till he meets adversity, and now we recognize for sure: Lomachenko is just one of the one-of-a-kind ones.