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Linares defeats Prieto, captures vacant WBC lightweight title

By Jim Dower: #1 WBC Jorge Linares (38-3, 25 KOs) won his seventh straight fight in defeating #2 WBC Javier Prieto (24-8-2, 18 KOs) by a 4th round knockout on Tuesday night to capture the vacant WBC World lightweight title at the Metropolitan Gym, in Tokyo, Japan.

Linares got the win, but he hardly looked impressive in the fight. He struggled until he got the stoppage. Had he been facing a good lightweight like Mickey Bey, Richard Abril or Terence Crawford, I believe that Linares would have lost the fight. He just not look good in this fight until getting the stoppage.

Linares knocked Prieto down with a right hand that landed behind his head in the 4th, sending him down on the canvas. Referee Hernan Guajardo then counted the 27-year-old Prieto out at 1:50 of the round.

Prieto laid on his back with his arms folded behind his head for the entire count, looking like he was resting rather than him being hurt. Prieto can only blame himself for getting hurt by Linares’ right hand, because he bent his head down in front of Linares, and this made it easy for him to land a right hand to the back of his head.

Prieto was the aggressor for most of the fight, as he constantly stalked Linares, and backed him up to the ropes. Linares looked like he didn’t want to stand his ground against Prieto for some reason, and it was mostly Prieto initiating for the first three rounds of the fight. Linares looked like he was on his way to losing the fight when he landed a hard right hand to the back of Prieto’s head to send him down.

Linares has a nice winning streak of seven fights going since he was totally destroyed by Sergio Thompson in two rounds in March of 2012. Linares has done well since then perhaps due in part because of the light punchers he’s faced. He’s not fought anyone with any kind of power since the Thompson fight, and the quality of his opposition has been largely mediocre.

Prieto hadn’t done much to deserve a world title shot. In his two previous fights before this one, he had fought to 12 round draws against Ivan Cano (22-6). Before that, Prieto had won his previous eight fights against weak opposition. In 2012, Prieto was beaten by Roberto Ortiz by a 12 round decision. This is the same Ortiz that Lucas Matthysse blasted out with ease in 2 rounds earlier this year in September.

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