By Chris LaBate
Staples Center, Los Angeles - Antonio DeMarco (26-2-1, 19KOs) came from behind to stop former two division champion Jorge Linares (31-2, 20KOs) in the eleventh round to capture the vacant WBC lightweight title.
Linares started strong in the first round, boxing well and landing fast punches on DeMarco. Linares using his fast hands to outhustle DeMarco during exchanges. By the fifth, the face of DeMarco was swelling up and Linares was boxing circles around him for the most part.
DeMarco, who picked up the pace at the end of the fifth, started getting busier in the sixth and closed the distance. He was pressing forward and started landing good shots on Linares. DeMarco busted Linares' nose and they were trading big shots on the inside. DeMarco was winning the battle and hurting Linares with good shots.
DeMarco continued to rally and push forward with a better workrate in the seventh. Linares was able to get in the better shots during the eight, with DeMarco still landing hard punches when he closed the distance.
By the tenth round, Linares' face was really being busted up. A cut opened up above the right eye and the cut on Linares' nose was flowing a lot of blood down his face. DeMarco was pushing forward, but Linares was boxing around him in circles, outworking him and playing it very safe by keeping himself at a distance.
In the eleventh, DeMarco rallied strong when his corner advised him that a knockout was necessary to win. He was landing huge punches and beating Linares into a bloody mess with both hands. Linares' entire face was a mask of blood with DeMarco unloading his combinations, as the referee jumped in to stop the action.