Vasiliy Lomachenko TKOs Jorge Linares to become fastest three-division boxing champion

NEW YORK -- Boxing's pound-for-pound king has added a third crown.

In just his 12th professional bout, two-time Olympic gold medalist Vasiliy Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) won his third world title in as many weight classes, becoming the fastest boxer in history to accomplish that feat by stopping a determined Jorge Linares (44-4) in the 10th round of a thrilling lightweight title bout in front of 10,429 fans at Madison Square Garden.

Lomachenko, who cemented his status as the sport's best and most dynamic boxer, added another chapter to his growing lineage by getting off the canvas in Round 6 of his 135-pound debut and rising to the occasion against a fighter in Linares, who has been the class of the division over the past five years.

"Linares is a great champion," Lomachenko said, "and the fight was good for the fans and everybody. It was a great fight."

For everything Linares brought to the table in terms of speed, craft and fluid combinations, Lomachenko was somehow always one step ahead of him in a dazzling display of boxing artistry that can best be described as high-speed chess. The native of Ukraine also became the fastest in boxing history to win titles in three divisions by adding the WBA lightweight belt to his growing collection in just his 12th fight.

Some of his best-known peers that have accomplished the same feat -- Oscar De La Hoya (22 fights), Floyd Mayweather (34), Manny Pacquiao (41) -- all took significantly longer to hit the mark.

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Lomachenko also added another highlight-reel finish when he forced Linares to a knee in Round 10 following a flurry of eight punches, all of which landed clean, including a hard hook to the body. Linares reached his feet but was unable to beat the count as referee Ricky Gonzalez waved him off at 2:08.

"Going into this fight, we knew Loma was a huge talent," said Lomachenko's promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank. "After this fight, we know now that he's a fighter."

Lomachenko, 30, was leading 86-84 on one scorecard at the time of the stoppage and trailing by the same score on a second. The third judge had it 85-85. CBS Sports also had it even entering the 10th round.

Linares suffered a cut above his eye in Round 8 and battled swelling around both eyes over the second half of the fight. But his knockdown of Lomachenko in Round 6, on a stiff counter right hand, shifted the momentum completely as Lomachenko fell to his rear end and needed another full round to regain his mojo.

"That right hand, it was a great punch. It happens," Lomachenko said. "I prepared for the last few rounds, and my father [trainer Anatoly Lomachenko] told me, 'You need to go to the body.'"

Lomachenko outlanded Linares, 213-207, according to CompuBox. The challenger also connected on 42 percent of his power shots and out jabbed his opponent 112-68.

Entering the night, Lomachenko already held boxing records for fewest fights needed to win a world title (three) and titles in multiple divisions (seven). Linares had won 13 straight fights with seven consecutive title defenses.

Although Lomachenko was spectacular in dispatching a fighter in Linares, the knockdown exposed the potential for vulnerability at this weight class, especially against big punchers like WBC champion Mikey Garcia.

After the fight, Arum shared his interest in bringing Lomachenko back as early as Aug. 25 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, with WBO lightweight champion Ray Beltran as a possible opponent.

"Don't get misled by the fact that he only has 12 professional fights," Arum said of Lomachenko. "He had 397 amateur fights, so he is a consummate fighter.

"He's a terrific fighter, a great talent, and he showed the heart of a fighter. I think 130 [pounds] is a little bit more comfortable, but he likes challenges. I think the challenges are more at 135 because he's fighting bigger guys than at 130. I don't know who he fights at 130 that gives him a challenge."

CBS Sports was with you for every punch thrown at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night with blow-by-blow coverage, scores and highlights from the event. If you are having trouble viewing the application below -- please click here.  

Lomachenko vs. Linares scorecard

Round123456789101112Total

Lomachenko

9

10

10

10

10

8

9

10

9

TKO (2:08)

85

Linares

10

9

9

9

9

10

10

9

10

85

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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