THIS weekend sees a truly mouth-watering clash take place between the irrepressible Vasyl Lomachenko and the sublimely skilled Jorge Linares. The fight will be taking place in the mecca of boxing, Madison Square Garden in front of what is due to be a sold-out crowd. This clash will pit the world’s best lightweight against the best junior-lightweight, this truly is a fight fan’s dream match-up.
Vasyl Lomachenko is 30 years old and comes into the fight with a record of 10-1 but do not let the meagre amount of contests fool you. This is a man that was a double Olympic gold medallist boasting an amateur record of 396 wins with only a single defeat. The pedigree cannot get much higher. Lomachenko is already a two-division world champion as a professional and attempts to take his third divisional crown in the clash with Linares. Much was made of Lomachenko’s sole defeat at the hands of the rugged veteran Orlando Salido. Perhaps he would need longer to adjust to the rigours of professional boxing than first anticipated? This has since been proven to be a fallacy as “Loma” has dominated every single man that has been in a ring with him since, including fellow double Olympic gold medallist Guillermo Rigondeaux. Should Lomachenko take down Linares, then surely his career is Hall-of-Fame worthy … within 12 fights, breath-taking!
The man armed with the task of defending his title against the mercurial talent is Jorge Linares, a 32-year-old champion who is currently riding a six-year undefeated streak. Linares has proven to be a road warrior of recent years and has fully shaken the “air of vulnerability” that was for so long attached to him. Although Linares doesn’t have the amateur credentials to stack up against “Loma”, his skills are a sight to behold. Linares will enjoy an inch advantage in height and a more favourable four inch reach advantage. As is always the case when a fighter moves up in weight, the size could be a determining factor.
Anyone who is a true fight fan should be tuning in to watch this showdown this weekend. Two of the very best talents in the sport, the undisputed best in their respective divisions going at it. What more could a fight fan want? As far as a prediction goes … I am predicting Lomachenko to put a stamp on his Hall of Fame career and take down Linares. I cannot see the size being a determining factor, mainly due to “Loma’s” mesmerising ability to move his feet and create insane punching angles. For all his skill, craft and finesse, Linares has proven to be a fighter that is not too difficult to hit in the heat of battle and I feel this may be his undoing in this contest.
I’m going for a Lomachenko victory via unanimous decision, scores of 118-112 would not surprise me. One thing is for sure, we are going to be treated to pugilism of the highest order.