For the first time in the big room when he hit the mat for the first time as a pro, for the first time grabbed a crown in a third weight class and for the first time in a long time he was considered someone who did not invincible
On May 12, Vasyl Lomachenko won over 10,000 spectators who grabbed a seat at Madison Square Garden, especially when Loma turned up the machines and attacked Jorge Linares on lap ten. His combination, headshots that distracted the Venezuelan, and two body shots that shook his innards to the point at which he was counted, made him the winner in yet another division.
So much to announce and celebrate and think. Because, as the post-fight press conference and the midnight chatter in the garden told me, that profit did not make Loma's stock burst like a crypto-coin, raise new questions, and perhaps give us an answer to his question out here.
The fighter struck the postman-presser, who incidentally was pretty well attended for these things, and was not surprisingly in high spirits. But his mood was marked by a touch of humility, which he shared us medially, especially in English.
Promoter Bob Arum picked up the microphone and handed it to Loma. He thanked the fans, the garden "my big team", "my big sponsor" and his family.
"I want to thank Linares for giving me another lesson in this interesting sport," said the 1
The winner still receives questions from manager Egis Klimas in Russian, and when asked Whether this was the deepest he had to dig, he replied that his hand hurt from the second round and that perhaps it added to the difficulty he had to gain the prize. At this point, one judge had it for Loma at two, one even had it, and one had it for Linares by two points.
Much of the post-fight gossip in media circles talked about these cards. The statistics of CompuBox supported the views of the judges.
The landed punches were pretty close and Linares threw more of them. As I noted in a postmortem with other media, in three of the very tight laps I saw on the ring I used the ring generation as a tie-breaker in choosing a round winner. And Loma was the better general that night. I saw it 6-2-1, with an extra point to Linares for the rainfall, at the break.
Loma was asked about the scorecards. "It's not my job, I can not comment on her work," said the 30-year-old fighter, staying in his tracks and remaining humble.
And this knockdown, from a right-hand man, called it a "flash" knockdown. But what happened tells us something, does not it? One of them is that Linares hand speed and timing and accuracy is A-Class. Two, maybe 135, is not the best place to do business.
Me, I think selectively, but of course he can be an A-plus class at 135, but some opponents will have more power than his chin might like. In that sense, I think we will see Ray Ray Beltran as Loma against WBO 135 on his next outing in California in August. Beltrans's hand speed and timing and accuracy are not equivalent to Linares, I tend to think so.
Loma also said he would come to 135 to get all the titles and he would be open against Mikey Garcia against Robert Easter winner. Arum told Ryan Songalia that he was not too optimistic that "negotiating" with ex-top-rank customer Garcia would go well. Read what you want. I think the fans are demanding the fight.
Loma said he relaxed too much and "he got me", so there's one of those lessons he referred to.
Other takeaways: Loma, in Russian, and then translated by Egis Klimas, told us that it could be helpful for him to be crushed. "Now it will be a lot easier for you," he said, TR Exec Carl Moretti, "To get opponents for me because they all see that I'm a human being, I just made a job for my sponsor."
At this point, Linares came in and still looked like a rock star, though he had played a four-hour show and was rejected by the cutest groupie behind the scenes.
The hottest moment of the session came when a reporter said that rehydration had Linares at 152, and only 138 him. Repeating Robert Diaz, Golden Boy and Linares, all said no, Linares did not come to 152, that was one Rumor, a mistake. "He never weighed." Arum grimaced and said, "What are you talking about? What a stupid question is this?"
The subject of a rematch also came up. Loma would do it, he is open to it, if the organizers think that's a good idea. Arum told me right after the fight that a rematch between them would be more of a good idea for a little bit on the other side.
Linares told me that "his blows upstairs did not really bother me", but in that last outcry two body strokes surprised him with their placement and power. He then greeted Vasyl for his abilities.
Arum laughed softly when he said he had tried to sign Linares in the past, but "Golden Boy was faster than me."
135 is not a bridge for Loma. But he is a real athlete with old school values. He wants to push himself and see what his limits are and always find his comfort zone.
These efforts had more people thinking that Mikey would be better than Linares against Loma, and thus a real threat to Down Loma. I'm not sure. Linares' hand-speed timing accuracy package is pretty impressive in points. Maybe Loma's move gives Mikey a bit more trouble than Linares, who handled it pretty well, though it's arguable that Loma might not use his feet as well as we've seen in the past.
In rounds in which he danced and banged, he won the round more clearly. I really think Arum is longing to see if he can do Loma vs Beltran next, with Beltran in the Top Rank family as well. Makes sense, because now more people think that 135 is a bit of a danger zone for Loma.
What are you doing now from the fight and the post-fight press? Talk to me!