Thompson destroys Linares in 2nd round TKO!!
By Jim Dower: Lightweight contender Jorge Linares (31-3, 20 KO’s) was surprisingly blown out tonight by the hard hitting Sergio Thompson (22-2, 20 KO’s) by a 2nd round TKO in a WBC lightweight title eliminator at the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California.
Linares, 26, was knocked down in the 2nd round by a flurry of power shots by Thompson ending with a hard left-right combination. Linares stayed on one knee for a long time before finally getting back to his feet. His left eye was bleeding badly and the referee marched Linares over to the ringside doctor who immediately had the fight stopped at 2:27 of the round.
The stoppage loss really wasn’t that surprising because the hard hitting Thompson gave a forewarning for what was going to come in the 1st round when he landed a huge right hand in the opening seconds of the fight that really had the crowd screaming and looking for blood.
Linares kept his composure and calmly jabbed Thompson repeatedly to keep him on the outside. However, Thompson leaped in with another big right hand and then threw a flurry of power shots, some missing but a lot connecting to the head of the shocked looking Linares. To be sure, Linares weathered the storm but he looked stunned because all of this was happening so quickly.
Thompson was blitzing him with a fast attack and Linares didn’t look ready for that kind of fight, especially given the tremendous punishment he took in his last fight against Antonio DeMarco. Thompson continued to land big right hands periodically in the round. However, in the last part of the round, Linares staggered Thompson with a big left-right combination that had Thompson backing away on spaghetti legs. Linares should have gone after him at this point because Thompson was vulnerable. Instead, Linares merely jabbed at him as if he felt he could take him out at any time. This enabled Thompson to regather himself to land a few more shots before the round ended. Linares threw mostly jabs and body shots rather than trying going for the head.
In the 2nd round, Linares looked really good through most of it, jabbing Thompson and landing nice combinations to the head and body. Linares looked like a much better fighter than Thompson in the early going of this round and it was like watching a completely different fight. Unfortunately for Linares, Thompson hit Linares with a huge right hand to the head. The shot didn’t hurt Linares but Thompson seemed to think he had, as he unleashed a storm of punches while Linares was backed against the ropes. Thompson never really let up until landing a really big right hand followed by a left-right combination that put Linares down. The fight was halted after Linares back to his feet.
This is bad news for Linares, as he was hoping to take on Antonio DeMarco in a rematch on July 7th. As of now, the fight is technically still scheduled but that’s likely to change with Linares getting blown out in the WBC lightweight eliminator, in addition to the cut that he received. He couldn’t get the fight even if he wanted to. The bout now will go to Thompson, who will gladly take it. This will be the biggest fight of his career and he could possibly pull off an upset if he can land shots like he did tonight against Linares.
Linares was stopped by DeMarco last October in a fight in which DeMarco suffered some bad cuts and took a lot of punishment. In hindsight, Linares clearly needed more time off from the ring to rest after that fight to recover and to let his cuts heal.
This is obviously a crushing blow to Linares’ career and it doesn’t make his trainer Freddie Roach look any better. He already saw Linares lose last October to DeMarco, as well as having his No.2 fighter Amir Khan get beaten by Lamont Peterson last December.
In undercard action, undefeated super middleweight prospect Marco Antonio Periban (16-0, 11 KO’s) defeated Gerardo Diaz (12-2-1, 10 KO’s) by a 2nd round TKO. However, the fight was not without excitement, as Periban had to get off the deck in the 2nd round to come on and get the stoppage at 2:52 of the round.
Undefeated super featherweight Francisco Vargas (9-0-1, 6 KO’s) stopped Carlos Perez (12-3, 9 KO’s) by a 3rd round TKO.
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