- Will Jorge Linares quit?
As well as “High-Tech,” Vasyl Lomachenko has also earned the nickname ‘No Mas-Chenko’ as the Ukrainian has seen his last four opponents quit on their stool refusing to participate for the remainder of the fight. Jamaican Nicholas Walters started off the trend in November 2016 and since then Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa and most recently Guillermo Rigondeaux have all failed to hear the final bell on their own accord after experiencing the brilliance of Lomachenko. Linares however is tough. The Venezuelan was trailing to Brit Kevin Mitchell after ten rounds in 2015 but the ever resilient Linares kept on coming and forced a stoppage with two rounds to go. His only losses have come by way of knockout and he has never given in.
Linares has never been in with someone like Lomachenko before, but could he be the first boxer in four contests to last the full 12 rounds with the Ukrainian?
- Will Lomachenko adapt to the weight?
The fight is taking place at lightweight for Linares’ WBA world title, a weight Lomachenko is yet to compete at as a professional. Debuting at featherweight in 2013, the Ukrainian would go on to win the WBO version of the world title at 126lbs, later moving up to junior-lightweight where he defeated Román Martínez in 2016 to become a two-weight world champion. Lomachenko is moving up in weight for the third time in five years, whereas Linares has spent the last eight years competing at 135lbs. Linares has flirted at the possibility of testing himself at super-lightweight before while Lomachenko seemingly looks to fight at weights which he is naturally smaller but relies on boxing skill rather than size.
But will this jump in weight be too much for Lomachenko?
- Who will have the fastest hands?
Lomachenko is renowned for fast feet and exquisite movement. Linares has made a name for himself with his dazzling hand speed and combinations. Lomachenko’s exceptional footwork seems to overshadow the speed of his hands. The Ukrainian mixes up his attacks from head to body in quick time, effectively teeing up his opponents with deft touches before unloading a powerful uppercut or hook. Linares opts for blistering speed on the front foot, always throwing in bunches which has seen him stop 27 opponents.
Will Lomachenko’s quick sequences of shots or Linares’ electric combination punching catch the eye more?
Linares has spent the last third of his professional career under the guidance of Cuban trainer Ismael Salas. Salas guided Linares to his WBC lightweight title win in 2014 against Javier Prieto and the pair later added the WBA version to their collection. However, following Salas’ commitment to training David Haye in the UK for his rematch against Tony Bellew, Linares was not willing to re-locate from his usual Las-Vegas camp and subsequently dropped the Cuban as his trainer. Linares’ younger brother Carlos, along with Rudy Hernandez will lead his corner.
How will Linares perform without Salas in arguably his toughest challenge to date?
- Where will the winner go?
Lomachenko seems to have no intentions of moving up the weight divisions though the footwork and boxing ability of ‘High-Tech’ could enable him to take inspiration from Pacquiao and become a multi-weight world champion. Lomachenko’s promoter Bob Arum has stated the Ukrainian could go as high as welterweight and with marquee names ranging from 130-147lbs including the likes of Mikey Garcia, Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr there could be mega-fights for the current WBO junior-lightweight champion. Linares on the other hand has been continually linked with a showdown with Garcia, with both men holding a title at lightweight these two could finally meet.
Will the winner of this super-fight opt to stay at the weight or move up?