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Linares v Lomachenko Preview: Precision and timing will be key

Cian Carroll | 10 May 2018

Preview and tips ahead of the bout of the year

Jorge Linares defends his WBA lightweight title against the feared Vasyl Lomachenko at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

Lomachenko is the reigning junior lightweight champion and once again makes the step up in weight to win another belt.

For many, the Ukrainian is the pound-for-pound king of boxing. And Linares, too, is one of the best boxers on the planet. It’s arguably the fight of the year so far with two of the most technically gifted pugilists going head-to-head.

The Coral News Team breaks down the pair individually and dole out a fight prediction…

Jorge Linares

Linares is without a doubt one of the best fighters in the world. But the Venezuelan isn’t a superstar name in the US. In fact, his star shines much brighter in the UK.

That’s down to highly-publicised bouts with the likes of Anthony Crolla, Kevin Mitchell, and most recently, Luke Campbell.

But the 32-year-old gets the chance to shine on the big stage with this behemoth of a match-up. If styles make fights, this clash is definitely one for the purists.

Linares isn’t known as a big puncher with a knockout percentage of just 57% from 47 professional bouts. But what he lacks in power, he makes up for in technical proficiency.

He’s got a cracking jab, fast feet and has held titles in three different weight classes. 

Vasyl Lomachenko

Where to start with the man known as The Matrix? Simply put, he’s arguably the most skilled fighter in the world.

The two-time Olympic champion and amateur king is only going into the 11th pro bout of his career.

But he’s already won a world championship strap in the third bout. And he most recently stopped the legendary Guillermo Rigondeaux.

In fact, Lomachenko has made his last four opponents either quit, or their corner has thrown in the towel. That’s not been down to any fearsome Golovkin-like power, though.

The 30-year-old is simply blessed with incredible footwork, timing, and the sheer volume of his punches. It’s an accumulative effect that bamboozles and breaks down opponents.

Fight Prediction

The Coral boxing traders aren’t taking any chances with Loma. The Ukranian is just 1/8 to win, with Linares a big underdog at 9/2. The Draw or Technical Draw is available at 25/1.

It’s certainly an intriguing fight and it could be a little bit closer than the odds suggest.

Linares is just two years older than his opponent but, in professional terms, is a high-class veteran. There isn’t much in it power-wise, and both are technically-gifted purveyors of the sweet science.

Linares is the naturally bigger man, too. The South American is an inch taller with a four-inch reach advantage.

But El Nino De Oro has a history of being cut, having been left a bloody mess in back-to-back defeats to Antonio DeMarco and Sergio Thompson earlier in his career.

And when you’re facing a fighter with Lomachenko’s timing and precision, that’s not good. It’s 8/11 on Loma to win by KO/TKO or Disqualification. The fight to be won in Rounds 5-8 is 9/4.

It should be a cracker in New York in the early hours of Sunday morning, live on Box Nation.

Big match previews, betting tips and transfer news – Coral have it all.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing