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Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 5/12/18

Linares vs. Lomachenko

Boxing: Saturday May 12, 2018 (Madison Square Garden)

The Line: Linares +600 / Lomachenko -1050 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

Vasyl Lomachenko and Jorge Linares fight Saturday at Madison Square Garden for the World Boxing Association World Lightweight Title.

Vasyl Lomachenko enters this fight with a 10-1 record that includes eight knockouts. Lomachenko has won each of his last nine fights, and he’s coming off a December win over Guillermo Rigondeaux. Lomachenko will fight for the fourth time since last year and is out to prove he’s worthy of being in the best pound for pound conversations. Lomachenko is fresh off a bout in which he dominated possibly the best Cuban boxer in the sport and forced a sixth round stoppage. Lomachenko is a 30-year-old southpaw who stands at 5’7” and has a 65 inch reach. Lomachenko hasn’t missed a beat since turning pro in 2013, and his only loss was a 2014 controversial split decision to Orlando Salido. Lomachenko is the total package, as he has the high boxing IQ, great footwork and is one of the best in the business at boxing from a distance, allowing him to dictate the pace of the fight. Lomachenko is also a highly effective counter puncher due to his head movement and ability to slip punches. Lomachenko also has some pop in those punches with each of his last seven victories coming by stoppage. This will be Lomachenko’s third career fight in New York.

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Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 5/12/18

USA TODAY Sports

Jorge Linares enters this fight with a 44-3 record that includes 27 knockouts. Linares has won each of his last 13 fights, and he’s coming off a January win over Mercito Gesta. Linares will fight for the second time this year and will be defending his belt for the fourth straight bout. This is the biggest fight for Linares, and a victory would seriously put his name in the conversation as the top lightweight in the world. Linares will enter this fight without his lead trainer Ismael Salas. Linares is 32 years old, stands at 5’8” and has a 69 inch reach. Linares is a balanced boxer with above-average hand speed, solid movement and has shown recently he’s more than a knockout artist. Linares just broke down Gesta for 12 rounds and beat one of the better UK boxers in Luke Campbell, which included a second round knockdown. Linares doesn’t have to lineup the one big punch to be effective, and he’s putting his punches together quite nicely entering this fight. The obvious concern with Linares is that he does have a suspect chin with all three of his losses coming by knockout. This will be Linares’ first career fight in New York.

This has the potential to be a lot closer than people think, as Linares is the bigger fighter, has extremely quick hands and is putting his combinations together well. Don’t be surprised if Linares steals a couple of rounds early, making this fight interesting at least until the mid way point. The bottom line is Lomachenko is a world class boxer who has everything from the power to the IQ to the ability to control the pace of the fight. There’s really nothing Lomachenko can’t do in the ring and his ability to adapt and adjust makes him that much tougher to deal with. I also question Linares not having his lead trainer in his corner for the biggest fight of his life. Probably not a good idea.

I’m siding with Lomachenko to win this fight.

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