Vasyl Lomachenko stopped Jorge Linares in the 10th round on Saturday to claim the World Boxing Association lightweight world title and a slice of boxing history at Madison Square Garden. (Photos by Mikey Williams, Tom Hogan/Hoganphotos).
Ukraine's Lomachenko survived a sixth-round knock-down to set a record in claiming a world title in a third weight division in just his 12th professional fight.
Lomachenko finished off the tightly contested bout with a fierce burst in the 10th, capped by a vicious left to the body that sent Linares down.
Venezuela's Linares slowly got to his feet, but referee Ricky Gonzalez waved it off at 2:08 of the 10th to give Lomachenko a victory by technical knockout that ended Linares' 13-fight winning streak.
Linares said he thought he could have continued and would be eager for a rematch.
At the time of the stoppage, Lomachenko was up by two points on one judge's card, Linares was up by two on another and one judge had it tied.
The bout, before a crowd of 10,429 in Madison Square Garden's main arena, was a far cry from Lomachenko's last four fights in which all of his opponents quit on their stools.
Lomachenko quickly pulled himself together, his hand and foot speed making the difference against his bigger opponent.
By the eighth round he'd opened a cut over Linares' left eye, and he was remorseless in targeting the vulnerable spot.
Lomachenko, whose storied amateur career included two Olympic gold medals, improved to 11-1 with nine knockouts.
Linares fell to 44-4 with 27 wins inside the distance.
Lomachenko, 30, added the WBA lightweight belt to a resume that includes a victory over Gary Russell Jr. for a featherweight world title in just his third pro bout.
In his seventh fight, Lomachenko moved up to super featherweight and knocked out Roman Martinez to take his belt and set the record for fewest fights needed to win a world title in two weight classes.