This Saturday night, Madison Square Garden will play host to two of the best fighters in boxing today. Golden Boy‘s Jorge Linares takes on Top Rank‘s Vasiliy Lomachencko for Linares’ WBA Lightweight title.
The bout pits two masters of their craft against one another, with only one fighter being able to reign supreme. Also featured on the card is a star-studded cast of Top Rank’s top prospects such as Teofimo Lopez, Micheal Conlan, Jamel Herring, and Mikaela Mayer.
Round By Round Boxing Staff Predictions - 2020
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Ty Paul, Staff Writer
I believe this fight will show us the real greatness of Vasiliy Lomachenko. Going up to 135 pounds in his first bout against a respected champion like Jorge Linares is a move that few in the squared circle would make.
Credit to Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank for making this fight and showing it on ESPN. Also, credit to HBO for allowing this to be first on a night of a doubleheader with these two networks.
Lomachenko is so brilliant, that I would not be surprised if he makes Linares look ordinary after the first couple of rounds. The two-time Olympic Gold medalist from Ukraine can break you down not only while hitting you, but mentally.
I see Lomachenko stopping Linares in the late rounds via TKO. Now, I don’t think Linares will quit on his stool, but Lomachenko’s greatness will shine to win his third world title Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
Michael Burnell, Staff Writer
Fans will be treated to a good one this Saturday on ESPN when WBA Lightweight boss Jorge Linares defends his belt against streaking phenom Vasiliy “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko.
Ordinarily, an experience disparity so glaring would heavily influence the result, however these are not ordinary fighters, especially considering the very deep amateur experience of the challenger.
Linares will bring the heat, but landing on Lomachenko is catching a greased eel with bare hands. His foot speed consistently confounds opponents while creating angles for creative shots and motoring away from counters.
In the late rounds a battered, thoroughly frustrated Linares will be rescued by the referee from taking further punishment.
CJ Halloran, Staff Writer
I think this will definitely be Vasiliy Lomachenko’s greatest challenge so far in taking on Jorge Linares.
I cannot see anyone near Lomachenko’s weight class defeating him. That being said, Linares will not put himself to shame, but I see Loma winning via UD.
R.L. Woods, Staff Writer
I’m looking at this fight as a litmus test for greatness. In the world of sports, nowadays, the word greatness is ascribed to so many athletes and coaches–and the lines are quite blurred.
Vasiliy Lomachenko is being hailed as great at just 11 fights (and he can’t be great because of Orlando Salido). WBA Lightweight champ Jorge Linares is 32 years old, nearing 50 fights, he’s an “above good” boxer and with a victory over Lomachenko, he could wake up May 13 as a great boxer.
He already possesses great boxing skills with his mix of movement, timing, power and ring IQ. I don’t foresee a lengthy feeling out period in the first round. I see the first three-to-four rounds being fought at an extremely high level, with both men doing what we’ve come to know them for at this juncture in both their careers.
The intrigue revolves around whether the bigger Linares’ power can offset, or begin to, disrupt Lomachenko’s display of ‘Hi-Tech’ wizardry. Can Linares match Lomachenko’s activity and start to impose his will through the second third of the bout? Or, does he begin to taper off and Lomachenko begins picking the older fighter apart?
I’ll take Lomachenko’s volume and array of punches to eventually nick up Linares, and possibly get a knockdown over the final third of the fight. In the end, Lomachenko wins by a well-contested, entertaining unanimous decision.
Boxing fans will still argue over Lomachenko’s greatness afterward, but he can further cement his status by unifying at Lightweight instead of looking to go up in weight.
Brianna Rodriguez, Videographer/Reporter
Peter Nieves, Senior Writer
I’ve put a lot of thought into this pick and after pondering over everything both fighters possess, it’s very difficult to bet against Vasiliy Lomachenko. Jorge Linares would probably be the favorite against most fighters in-and-around his weight class, but Loma has proven to be out of this world when it comes to pure boxing ability.
I don’t feel that Linares will fall like some of Loma’s previous challengers and I firmly believe that Linares will go out on his shield before quitting on the stool. That being said, Lomachenko’s abilities have thus far proven to be unmatched and I see him winning a hard fought UD.
Linares will come out and make his presence known early on, but once Loma figures out Linares’ game, “Hi-Tech” will take over.
Alex Burgos, Editor-in-Chief
Completing the RBRBoxing prediction sweep, I’m taking Vasiliy Lomachenko over Jorge Linares Saturday at The Garden. Unlike his previous dominant performance over Guillermo Rigondeaux, you have to give Lomachenko extra credit for jumping up in weight and taking on one of boxing’s best pure boxers.
After one or two feeling out rounds, Lomachenko’s ability to adjust and put on effective pressure from a wide array of angles will allow him to open up the Venezuelan champion and land clean shots.
Linares has a history of swelling and bleeding, so if Loma starts tagging him cleanly I can see the referee stepping in to stop the fight. Either way, Lomachenko will leave MSG with the crown.
Header photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank
In article photo by Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/Golden Boy Promotions