Vasiliy Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) vs. Jorge Linares (44-3, 27 KOs) is official. The fight is set for May 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In recent weeks, the fight was uncertain, but the highly anticipated bout between the Junior Lightweight champion Lomachenko and Lightweight world champion Jorge Linares is now a done deal.
Linares will defend his 135-pound belt against Vasyl Lomachenko who is moving up in weight from 130 pounds. The terms of the bout had been agreed upon a couple of weeks ago, but the fight was in jeopardy due to a disagreement over the date between Linares’ co-promoter, Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, who promotes Lomachenko.
Golden Boy was wary to agree to the date because they are promoting their own event that night between Sadam Ali and Liam Smith at Turning Stone Casino. Coupled with the replay of Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin 2, which takes place one week earlier on May 5, Golden Boy hoped to not compete with their own show on the 12th, but for Lomachenko-Linares to happen, there was no other choice.
Linares has held world titles in three weight classes–Featherweight, Junior Lightweight and Lightweight and will be making the fourth defense of his second Lightweight title reign against Lomachenko. Linares fought in January of this year and is coming off a decision victory against Mercito Gesta. Linares has won 13 fights in a row since suffering back-to-back losses in 2011 and 2012.
Lomachenko will be looking to gain a title in his third division on May 12–having already won titles at Featherweight and Junior Lightweight in almost unbelievable fashion.
Lomachenko is a two-time Olympic gold medalist from Ukraine and has continued his supremacy in the pro ranks, being labeled as the No. 1 pound-for-pound king. In his last fight in December of 2017, Lomachenko faced previously unbeaten and fellow two-time Olympic gold medalist, Guillermo Rigondeaux. Many believed this fight was going to be extremely close, but Lomachenko made Rigondeaux quit in his corner after the sixth round.
This will undeniably be a very competitive fight, with the veteran Linares easily being the biggest opponent Lomachenko has faced. Linares will bring incredible speed and crafty movement to the matchup.
Linares will also be entering the ring with both height and reach advantages. Yet, Lomachenko keeps surprising the boxing world with every victory–with many claiming he is the most technical fighter they’ve ever seen. Lomachenko will be adding his name to a loaded Lightweight division which also includes undefeated titleholders Mikey Garcia and Robert Easter Jr., among others.
This is a good jump for Lomachenko as he will be faced with more challenges and opportunities to remain at the top of the pound-for-pound lists.
May is going to be an exciting month for boxing fans, with Lomachenko-Linares following the rematch between Alvarez and Golovkin. We can expect two exciting fight weekends in a row–May cannot come quick enough.
Poster edit by @JCGBoxing