May 12, 2018. What a night to remember. To some people, it may have been a normal Saturday night, but to boxing enthusiasts, it was definitely one of the best fights of the year, with Vasyl Lomachenko becoming the fastest man to claim three world championships in different weight classes with a stunning 10th-round TKO victory over WBA lightweight champion Jorge Linares.
As some of my readers know, I am a huge boxing fan. I got into boxing a couple years back, when I was looking for a new workout to get into, and had been suggested a boxing club in the local area. Right away, I am became hooked on the sport and about a year later, I started sparring. Now I am training for my first fight. Through boxing, I have met some amazing people, including my boyfriend Michael, and my current boss, Ian. I am a boxing instructor at Upper Montclair Boxing Club, and I absolutely love my job. It is a small community at the gym, and everyone knows one another. To continue building relationships with our clients and our clients to network amongst ourselves, Ian coordinates different boxing events that we can go to. The Loma V. Linares fight was our second outing.
Through some awesome client connections, we got second row ringside at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN. Mike and I were in complete shock when we were brought to our seats. Mike ordered himself and I drinks and we sat and watched the undercards. We got there at 5:30pm, just in time to see one of my favorite female boxers, Mikaela Mayer. Mike and I then dined on a MSG cheeseburger, which wasn't too bad, except for the fact the cheese was nacho cheese. Eck. Eventually, the rest of our group met us at the seats, and we sat and watched Mick Conlan vs. Ibon Larrinaga, Carlos Adames vs Alejandro Barrera and Teofimo Lopez vs Vitor Jones Freita.
Throughout the fights, while the seats around us started to fill up, we tried to see if we saw any athletes we recognized. All of a sudden, this guy in a blue jump suit walked in front of us and excused himself. I look over at Mike and his mouth was completely open. I go, "What's wrong?" He goes, "That was Terence Crawford." That was pretty awesome. Mike and I then needed to use the bathroom, so we decided to go before the walk outs began. I finish up in the bathroom, when I hear Mike say, "Yeah that was Kovalev." I run out of the bathroom with wet hands and go, "YOU SAW KOVALEV." Mike says, "I got a PICTURE WITH KOVALEV." So lucky!!! I guess Mike and him were in the bathroom and as they walked out Mike asked for a picture with him, too funny.
Mike and I ended up taking pictures with Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson and Terence Crawford. They were all so nice and super cool to talk to.
When we got back to our seats, right in front of us was Michael Buffer, the announcer who trademarked his famous line, "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLEEE!" We got pictures with him, and he was so nice and down to Earth. As the music started playing, I got super hype because the energy was so electric. Out of NOWHERE, I yelled "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLEEE!!" I forgot how close we were to the ring, because then Michael Buffer slowly turned his head and just stared me down. I put my hands over my mouth, completely in shock he heard me and ready to get sued for using his trademarked saying. He then smiled, laughed, and then turned back around. A woman in the first round turned around to me and said, "That was awesome." HAHA!
Okay, now onto the the big fight details.
By 9pm, the fight of the night was ready to get started.
The crowd was definitely filled with more Loma fans, but Linares fans also made themselves known that night as well. For this part of the article, I am going to do a round by round breakdown of what I saw.
Round 1 - Linares starts the round with a jab to the body. Loma does what he does best and starts chipping away at Linares with some jabs. Loma continues to feel his opponent out, throw some jabs, and then moves to avoid Linares' punches. The jab was the dominant punch in the round, and Loma fans went WILD. Linares looked extremely comfortable in the ring against Loma and both men stayed in the middle of the right for most of the round. Linares warned for a right hand behind the head. Quick left to the body by Lomachenko and then moves to avoid Linares at the end of the round.Lomachenko definitely threw more accurate punches.
Round 2- Things definitely start to heat up. Linares shows he is here to fight when he throws a beautiful left hook the body. Linares throws a nice uppercut, but then Loma makes sure he pays for that. He responds with a combo to the head and body, in usual Loma style. Loma uses his quickness to his advantage by slipping hooks and then makes Linres pay with his dangerous left. Linares responds back with a connecting right hand and gets to Loma with a combination to the body. One of the most memorable punches of the night and especially for this round was Loma's successful uppercut and jab with the same hand.
Round 3- Lomachenko starts picking up the pace and starts chipping away even more at Linares. Linares throws an incredible jab and goes to the body. Loma throws a body shot and continues to take control of the ring for this round. Linares uppercut is strong, put that body shot Loma throws is even stronger. Loma's quickness helps block many of Linares' punches in this round.
Round 4- Loma gets into it again with a body/ head combo. Linares somehow gets on the inside of Loma, something we barely see. That doesn't last too long when Loma then throws some fast combos. Linares is then warned after a low blow. Linares then gets warned after hitting behind the head. It is apparent Linares is getting frustrated. Loma throws a powerful right, but Linares' powers through with an incredible body shot. Lots of jabs are landed between both men, and Loma lands a nice uppercut.
Round 5- Loma continues to pressure and throw more combos to the body. Linares responds back with more shots the body. Linares continues to throw low blows, making Lomachenko stumble and giving Linares another warning. Things are getting more intense between the two. Loma makes Linares pay for that low blow with a right hook. Linares responses with a right to the body and a few jabs, taking control of the ring in this moment. This moment doesn't last long as Loma throws another one of his quick and destructive combos, which ends the round, leaving Linares a little shook.
Round 6- This round is one for the books. Straight up, this was the round that had everyone at MSG IN SHOCK. Linares started with a nice body shot. Loma quickly throws a left to the head. Of course, Linares is warned for another low blow. An amazing combination exchange occurs between the fighters, Loma definitely taking over the exchange, but it was fantastic work between both talents. Fantastic blocking between both quick men. Loma threw some jabs, but it was Linares' power right that then lands LOMACHENKO'S BUTT ON THE FLOOR. I don't believe anyone saw that coming. This definitely changes up the feel of the fight.
Round 7- Linares comes in with a new found confidence. Linares with a great body shot and hook. Loma is resetting himself, taking his time and reevaluating his opponent. Loma does a lot of blocking this round, and Linares definitely put in more work than Loma this round. Loma hasn't been knocked down since his amateurs, so this definitely would give anyone a new found confidence. I gave this round to Linares.
Round 8- Loma comes back with his game plan. Loma begins to chip away again at Linares, throwing his jabs and some hooks. Linares still has the fire left in him and continues to pressure as well. Lomachenko throws some more combinations, each punch definitely thrown with thought. Lots of countering by these two men, something we hadn't seen a lot of in the undercards.
Round 9- Loma's power jab results in Linares' head getting throw back. A quick exchange occurs between the two, both catching punches and countering. Both fighters are definitely showing signs of being tired. Loma continues with his combos.
Round 10- The last round of this fight. Linares comes out refreshed and definitely the aggressor. Loma shows off his strength by getting on the inside of Linares with a body shot and jab. Loma then continues to pressure Linares with a right hook and then throws some uppcuts. Linares takes it and in return hits Loma with a few body shots. It was with Loma's liver shot that Linares then goes down and can't continue. Ref stops the fight, making Loma the new WBA lightweight champion!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!