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So has Linares. He was stopped in the 11th round by Antonio DeMarco in a fight for a vacant lightweight title in 2011 at Staples Center.

It seemed that Linares had given Lomachenko all that he had and had nothing else left in the tank, as a brutal left to the liver ended his chances.

Lomachenko did just that, and he has continued to break down his opponents both mentally and physically. It will go the distance because Linares isn't your typical boxer.

Linares pressed the action in the seventh round and Lomachenko was no longer on the offensive.

Each fighter was ahead 86-84 on a judge's card, while Julie Lederman had it 85-all after nine rounds.

A strong combination of punches from Lomachenko opened up the defence of Linares, seeing Lomachnko sink a left hook to the liver sending the champion to the floor.

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Taking place at the iconic Madison Square Garden in NY, 32-year-old Linares will be putting his WBA and Ring Magazine lightweight world titles on the line when he faces the superstar Ukrainian, live and exclusive on BoxNation. Linares got up but the referee called the bout at 2:08 of the round.

Linares' straight right hand that dropped Lomachenko in the sixth round made him look human. Confidence was flowing through Lomachenko with frustration building on the face of Linares, who was becoming more and more wild with his work missing widely. The day before the fight Lomachenko and Linares weigh the same - 61,05 kg. Linares brings more experienced, a height and reach advantage and will also pack a more powerful punch than the smaller challenger.

"It's a challenge but that's what makes a fighter one of the all-time greats: challenges", promoter Bob Arum said.

Comfortable wins over Kevin Mitchell and Anthony Crolla away from home put his name into the headlines and a recent points win against Luke Campbell was another step on the road to this fight with Lomachenko.

Said Linares: "The knockout punch was perfectly landed". Lomachenko was making Linares miss and pay with lateral movement followed up by backhand counters. "It doesn't bother me if I stop him, if he quits or if it's a judges' decision - I just want to win", said Lomachenko. Those four victories over previously undefeated Nicholas Walters, Jason Sosa, Miguel Marriaga and then-unbeaten Guillermo Rigondeaux came in fights contested at the super featherweight limit of 130 pounds. Now he's moving up to 135 and people say is this a bridge too far?

The 32-year-old Linares lost by technical knockout for the fourth time in a pro career that began in December 2002.


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