The sporting world will come to a standstill in the early hours of Sunday morning this weekend as Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares face off in the Big Apple for one of the most exciting fights in recent memory.
Vasiliy Lomachenko at times looks invincible, a master technician who can do no wrong in the ring.
Lomachenko had been on top before Linares countered with a stiff right in the sixth, which left the Ukraine fighter needing a round to recover. How would he respond?
30-year-old Lomachenko, a two-weight world champion, despite having had only 11 professional fights, has dominated most of his opponents, often forcing them to quit, says all he is thinking about is the win rather than how it comes about. Arum said Lomachenko will fight again on August 25 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, but wasn't sure if it would be against WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltran or if Lomachenko would go back to 130.
Lomachenko found a ideal left hook to the body in round 10 to stop Linares and close the show.
This will be Conlan's 4th fight in NY, he wants to dispose of Larrinaga as quickly as possible with no damage done so he could fight on June 30th against Adeilson Dos Santos in front of a hometown crowd in Belfast. Steve Weisfeld had Lomachenko up 86-84; Robin Taylor favored Linares by the same score, and Julie Lederman had it even. Lomachenko was leading 87-83 on Newsday's card.
Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) will provide an interesting test for Lomachenko, though.
Linares by that time had won world titles at featherweight and super featherweight.
Linares was coming forward at the start of the seventh.
He was fast-tracked into a world title shot in just his second fight, taking on Mexican veteran Orlando Salido for the WBO featherweight strap.
"That right hand [in the sixth] it was a great punch".
"It's a challenge but that's what makes a fighter one of the all-time greats: challenges", promoter Bob Arum said. Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga and Nicholas Walters couldn't, and Lomachenko quipped he should be called "no mas Chenko" when Rigondeaux then became the fourth straight opponent who didn't come back out for the next round after returning to his corner in pain following the previous one.
WBC lightweight champion Mikey Garcia is from the Golden State.
Linares had another moment in the ninth round when he momentarily knocked Lomachenko off balance with a left hand.
"The motivation of fighting the best gets me up in the morning, not only Lomachenko, but that is really motivating me because I'm fighting the best pound-for-pounder in boxing and I want to continue fighting the best", he said.