by Chris Robinson
The drama was high last night in Mexico as upset-minded Sergio Thompson pulled off a shocker in halting highly-regarded former champion Jorge Linares in the second round of a heated match.
Fighting in his hometown of Cancun, Thompson appeared to stun Linares in the first round before taking some punches in return from the Venezuelan. Thompson turned up the heat in the second and dropped a dazed Linares, who would then see the fight waved off after a ringside physician deemed that a cut above his left eye that had formed was too severe for him to continue.
If successful against Thompson last night, Linares was to be in line for a rematch with WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco, who defeated him last October with an 11th round TKO in an excellent tussle.
Watching the fight last night from his bases in Tijuana, DeMarco stayed classy when discussing Linares’ defeat.
“I have a lot of respect for him and I feel like he had a bad night last night,” DeMarco would state to my translator Margarita ‘Maggie’ Quinonez. “That’s why I don’t think about the fight ahead. I just always think about the fight now, because that’s the one that’s more important to me. Because it depends on what happens in that fight and you can advance to the next one.”
Asked if he was implying that Linares may have been caught looking ahead to the scheduled July 7th rematch, DeMarco wouldn’t confirm.
“I can’t say that because I respect Linares and the way he handles his career,” said DeMarco. “I believe he was ready for the fight but he probably had a bad night that night. I don’t think he overestimated his opponent; that just wasn’t his night last night.”
The ending to the fight was bizarre, as Linares, who seemed a bit shaken after the knockdown but still in good enough shape to continue, was taken by referee Bill Clancy to get observed for the previously-mentioned cut. Inexplicably, the ringside physician almost instantly waved the fight off without proper inspection, granting Thompson with the biggest win of his career.
Asked if he felt the physician’s actions were peculiar, DeMarco didn’t want to take the bait.
“I don’t want to give an opinion on that,” DeMarco claimed. “Thompson was just very, very ready for that fight. Because he was at home and he wanted to show what he was capable of. I believe that [Thompson] did awesome in the fight. It’s not fair to take away all the qualities the opponent has. He was ready to fight.”
Last night’s fight was an eliminator for the WBC crown that DeMarco holds yet it remains to be seen if Thompson will indeed be next for the young champion. If so, it’s something DeMarco would welcome with open arms.
“I don’t know if Thompson is going to be my next opponent. I need to check with my promoter and my manager. In case he is the next opponent, I’m going to be more than happy to fight him and to give him the opportunity," DeMarco added.