Linares Stops Diaz
Unbeaten Tokyo-based World Boxing Council featherweight champion Jorge Linares (25-0, 16 KOs) stopped challenger Gamaliel Diaz (22-7-2, 9 KOs) in the 8th round on Saturday night at the Plaza de Toros, in Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Linares, 22, appeared very relaxed in the early rounds of the fight, calmly jabbing a fierce-looking Diaz, who was fighting all out from the first round. In point of fact, Linares was briefly stunned with a wild right from Diaz, causing him to take seveal steps back and cover up on the ropes while Diaz unleashed a torrent of punches.
However, as soon as he stopped throwing, Linares regained his composure and finished the round strong, snapping fast jabs out and catching Diaz frequently. In rounds two and three, Linares continued using his much faster hands to control the slow moving Diaz, tagging him with three punch combinations often. Diaz, however, continued applying a lot of pressure on Linares and catching him with big shots every once in a while, mostly due to the sheer number of punches he was throwing than because of any real skills.
In the 4th round, Diaz, forgetting his defense completely at this point, paid the price when he was knocked down late in the round from a right hand from Linares.
As usual, Diaz was rushing in attempting to throw a wild hay maker and got hit with a perfectly timed right hand. Instead of going after Diaz and trying to finish him off, Linares spent the remainder of the round mostly jabbing Diaz, as if he wanted to prolong the fight in and effort to showcase his skills. In the next two rounds, Linares completely let off the gas, throwing few punches enabling Diaz to win both rounds due to his superior work.
In both rounds, Linares fought very relaxed, not seeing to care when he was tagged with good shots from Diaz. However, in the 7th round, Linares seemed to snap out of it, as he pelting Diaz again with blistering fast combinations, showing the huge difference in handspeed between the two fighters.
In the 8th round, Diaz came charging out, trying to make up for his poor showing in the last round, as he unleashed a number of big hooks to the head and body of Linares. However, as before, Diaz left himself wide open and was tagged with two successive right hooks from Linares, sending Diaz down flat on his back on the canvas. For several moments, Diaz didn’t stir, as if he was knocked completely out.
The referee Lawrence Cole moved in and immediately halted the action, seeing that Diaz was badly hurt. Diaz remained down for a couple of minutes as the ringside physician checked him over. The bout was stopped at 2:02 of the 8th round.
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