WBA Lightweight Champion Jorge Linares is not buying into the hype surrounding Vasyl Lomachenko, who challenges Linares for the title on May 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Since losing back-to-back losses in 2011-12, Linares has gone on a 13-fight win streak, capturing WBC and WBA lightweight gold in the process. But Lomachenko is seen as one of the best young, up-and-comers in boxing, and someone who can arguably lay claim to the title of the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Lomachenko has just one loss in 11 bouts, and has held the WBO Featherweight Title and WBO Junior Lightweight Title. The bout with Linares will be Lomachenko’s first bout at 130 pounds, and Linares isn’t buying into Lomachenko’s hype.
“I’ma shut him up, plain and simple,” Linares said. “I know I have my advantages, I’m the natural lightweight here. He’s coming up [in weight], he needs to get ready. I know what I have to do and I’m gonna train hard…but I’ma shut him up.”
Linares made mention of Lomachenko’s most recent bout, where he defeated Guillermo Rigondeaux, making him the third fighter in a row to quit on the stool against Lomachenko. Lomachenko christened himself “No Maschenko” following the bout.
“The best I could tell you is that I fell asleep by the end,” Linares said. “I stopped watching it. It wasn’t his fault, they made him look bad because Rigondeaux being a southpaw, complicated, shorter — [Lomachenko] had more advantages than Rigondeaux and he destroyed him. Now reverse [that scenario].
Now he’s going up, he’s the smaller guy. Be careful because maybe the same thing happens to him.