Vasyl Lomachenko Will Attempt to Add to His Impressive Early Boxing Legacy
Renowned boxer Vasyl Lomachenko will take on WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares on Saturday.
Updated: May 12, 2018 • 9:25 AM ET
Vasyl Lomachenko has the potential to be one of boxing's greatest fighters ever.
Vasyl Lomachenko will attempt to break another boxing record on Saturday in his bout against WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares. A victory would give Lomachenko his third world title in a third different division in only his 12th pro fight.
The 30-year-old from Ukraine set a record by claiming two world titles in two weight classes (featherweight and super featherweight) in just seven fights and will now attempt to hand a loss to a seasoned fighter who has defended his belt seven times.
Lomachenko (10-1) has made his last four opponents quit mid-fight and after his victory over undefeated Guillermo Rigondeaux in December, he gave himself the nickname “No Mas Chenko.” Linares, 32 years old and 44-3 overall, doesn’t plan on taking the same approach.
“I will never do that, I will never give up,” Linares said via Fox Sports. “People always talk about and heap praise on Lomachenko because all of his opponents abandon (the fight). I’m not a boxer who abandons (a fight).”
Lomachenko is a two-time Olympic Gold medalist, winning at the 2008 games in Beijing and 2012 in London. He’s also a two-time world champion, winning in 2009 in Milan and 2011 in Baku, Azerbaijan. He’s rated by many boxing experts as a top 3 fighter in the pound-for-pound rankings, including The Ring Magazine, which has him third, and ESPN, which has him at the top. He’s widely considered the most successful amateur boxer of all time with a 396-1 record, and he successfully avenged the one loss on his amateur record, twice.
Linares is riding 13 straight victories and last lost in 2012 to Sergio Thompson. The Venezuelan has encountered setbacks during his career but vows to make up for them on Saturday.
“I went through some tough times, back-to-back losses, a lot of people wrote me off,” Linares said via Boxing News. “But hard work and dedication got me back in there. I suffered a lot but was able to get myself up.”
Linares added, “I’m going to shut him up, plain and simple. I know I have my advantages. I’m the natural lightweight here – he’s coming up. He needs to be ready. I’m going to shut him up. This fight is going to be very interesting. We have to put on a great performance for the fans.”
Lomachenko isn’t looking past Linares and knows he’s in for a tough fight.
“I don’t think about stopping Linares and forcing him to quit,” Lomachenko said. “I don’t worry about that or need to do that. I do everything to win the fight and it doesn’t bother me how I win as long as I do win.
“It doesn’t bother me if I stop him, if he quits or if it’s a judges’ decision – I just want to win.”
Lomachenko added, “Everybody has a chance when they get in the ring but I don’t like the way Linares has been talking ahead of the fight. I’m not scared of anyone and will fight anybody.”
The fight will take place in Madison Square Garden and can be seen on ESPN.
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