Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California - Former three-division world champion Jorge Linares (45-4, 28 KOs) has arrived at 140-pounds, and he crushed Abner "Pin" Cotto (23-4, 12 KOs) in three rounds.
Linares returns for the first time since getting stopped in the tenth round of his battle with Vasiliy Lomachenko back May, at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Following that loss, Linares made a decision to move up in weight to pursue another world title after capturing belts at featherweight, super featherweight and lightweight.
Coming in, Cotto won his last five fights since getting knocked out in the fifth round by Javier Fortuna back in November of 2014.
The first round saw both boxers feeling each other out. Linares had the edge over Cotto as they were boxing at a measured pace. Linares looked much bigger at the new weight.
In the second, it was more of the same in the early going, with both fighters starting to take chances as the round continued. As they continued to exchange, Linares landed a big right hand and sent Cotto down. Cotto made it up, on unsteady legs, and survived.
Linares also suffered a cut around his right eye in the second.
In the third, Linares came out with rapid combinations and sent Cotto down hard for the second time. Cotto once again made it up, on very unsteady legs. Linares went to work with more hard punches. Cotto was rocked and ready to go down for a third time, but he desperately grabbed on to Linares - which sent both of them down.
Cotto made it to his feet, but he was barely able to stand and was wobbling all over the place. His lack of balance prompted the local commission members to jump on the ring apron and stop the fight as Cotto's legs were gone.