By Vladimir Lik
Pablo Cesar Cano (32-7-1, 22 KOs) jolted the entire building by scoring a sudden first round TKO over former three-division world champion Jorge Linares (45-5, 28 KOs) on the Demetrius Andrade-Artur Akavov undercard at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The official time of the stoppage was 2:48 seconds of the opening round.
Billed as a WBC 140 pound title eliminator Cano came out swinging hard and caught Linares with a clean right hand on side of Linares’ neck disrupting his equilibrium and bringing the Venezuelan fighter down.
Linares let the count go a bit then got back up and jumped into Cano’s face to go toe to toe. Cano landed a two-punch combination culminating with a right hand on the Linares’ jaw dropping him for the second knockdown of the round.
Linares got back up slower this time and tried to come back at Cano. Cano loaded up and landed a massive right hand on Linares’ ear dropping him yet again. Linares got back up but his body language was completely off.
The referee allowed Linares to continue with the round almost ending but the 29-year-old Mexican fighter landed another clean shot causing Linares to fully retreat. This time the referee took it out of Linares’ hands and stopped the bout.
This was Linares second attempt at 140 pounds after losing his lightweight title to Vasyl Lomachenko last year. Linares stopped Abner Cotto in three rounds last September when both men moved up to 140 pounds.
In Cano, Linares found a true junior welterweight who was much bigger man who walked right through him. Cano will now wait to see if he gets a crack at the winner of the Jose Ramirez-Jose Zepeda bout later this year.