Bob Arum's Top Rank Boxing returned to Gotham with a seven bout card, headlined by a WBA World Lightweight Title bout between Vasyl Lomachenko (11-1, 9 KOs) and defending champion, Jorge Linares (44-4, 27 KOs). The bout, which aired live on ESPN, was held at the Mecca of Boxing, Madison Square Garden.
In the main event, Linares landed a nice right to the body of Lomachenko, who answered with a multi-punch combo that was met with crowd approval in the second round. The big punch of this combo was a right upper cut to Linares' jaw. Lomachenko's speed was on display in the third round. He easily outscored Linares with a series of combos.
In the fourth round, Linares was warned for rabbit punches that he threw in response to a Lomachenko right hook to the head. Lomachenko went on to hit Linares with a multi-punch combo to the head during this round. In the fifth round, Lomachenko landed a left upper cut that snapped Linares' head back. Later in the round, Linares was warned for low blows. Linares was warned for low blows again in the sixth round, which clearly frustrated the Venezuelan fighter. Linares knocked Lomachenko down with a right hand to the head later in the round. Lomachenko slowed down and fought more cautiously in the seventh round.
The two men engaged in a good exchange of punches as the round neared its end. Linares let his hands go around 1:30 of the ninth round, and landed a nice multi-punch combo. Linares was sent crashing to the canvas in the tenth round, after Lomachenko pummeled his opponent with upper cuts and connected on a left hand to the body. The referee stopped the fight at 2:08 of the tenth round. This was the fourth time Linares has been knocked out over the course of his professional career.
The televised portion of the card began with a ten round contest in the welterweight division. Carlos Adames (14-0, 11 KOs) put his undefeated record on the line against Alejandro Barrera (27-5, 17 KOs). Adames landed a couple of nice right hands to Barrera's head that forced the Mexican fighter to backpedal to avoid any unnecessary damage. Adames hurt his opponent with a big multi-punch combo, highlighted by a big left hand, that staggered Barrera as the second round winded down. Barrera rebounded back in the third round.
The third round ended with Adames and Barrera exchanging good blows to one another's body and head. Adames showboated in the fourth round by winding up on his punches inside the second minute of the round. He caught Barrera with a hard right hook to the head later in the frame. The two warriors were so focused on a violent exchange during this round, that they fought through the bell that marked the end of the fourth.
Towards the end of the fifth round, Adames hurt Barrera with a right hand, but was unable to finish off his dazed opponent. Through five rounds, it was evident that the story of this fight would be missed opportunities for Adames to finish off his opponent. This was caused in large part due to the less experienced fighter's wildness at times with punches. The two fighters traded big shots at the end of the seventh round. Barrera had an offensive outburst in the eighth round as he pinned Adames up against the ropes, and landed right hands at will on his opponent. Barrera fought valiantly in the ninth, despite being caught with big shots to the head. The judges scored the bout 97-93, 96-94 and 98-92 for the winner by unanimous decision, Carlos Adames.
Ibon Larrinaga (10-2, 2 KOs) of Spain fought Ireland's Michael Conlan (7-0, 5 KOs) in an eight round bout. Conlan walked to the ring wearing New York Knicks' gear to appeal to the hometown fans. Conlan controlled the first three rounds of action. In the fourth round, Conlan lost his bearing when he threw Larrinaga into a neutral corner. In the fifth round, the two-time Olympian from Ireland landed a series of big hooks on Larrinaga. Later in the round, Conlan snapped his opponents head back with a hard right hand. Conlan cruised through the last three rounds, doing enough to win all three on the judges' scorecards. All three judges scored the bout 80-72 for the winner by unanimous decision, Michael Conlan.
Vitor Freitas (13-2, 7 KOs), a Brazilian lightweight, was knocked out at the 1:04 mark of the opening round by Teofimo Lopez (7-0, 7 KOs), a former Honduran Olympian from Brooklyn. Despite coming up as an amateur in the ranks of USA Boxing, Lopez opted to compete for his parents' homeland of Honduras at the 2016 Olympic Games. Lopez finished off Freitas with a right hand to the side of the head, that looked more like a graze than a hard blow to the head. Lopez has now won all seven of his professional bouts by way of knockout.
Female lightweights, Mikaela Mayer (5-0, 3 KOs) and Baby Nansen (6-3-1) squared off in a six round contest. Mayer, a 2016 Olympian for the United States, controlled the tempo of the bout by effectively utilizing her clear height and reach advantage This forced Hansen to try to fight on the inside. A number of her attacks were stopped by Mayer's solid defense. Mayer landed two big overhand rights to the face of Nansen in the fourth, that staggered her opponent. Nansen fought more cautiously in the fifth, having been hurt in the previous round. As the final bell rang, Nansen's face showed damage from the fight, as her right eye was badly swollen. All three judges scored the bout 60-54 for the winner by unanimous decision, Mikaela Mayer.
The Fighting Marine, Jamel Herring (17-2, 10 KOs) fought Mexico's Juan Pablo Sanchez (29-16, 14 KOs) in an eight round, lightweight bout. Herring controlled the first two rounds of action by landing the cleaner and more effective punches to his opponent's head and body. In the third round, Herring's right eye was busted open by what appeared to be the thumb of Sanchez's glove. The doctor examined Herring's eye and decided to allow the two men to keep fighting. In the fourth round, Herring, sensing the danger of his cut, snapped back the head of Sanchez with a straight left hand. In the final 40 seconds of this round, Herring landed a series of big shots to his opponent's head. The end of the fight came for Sanchez in the fifth round, when Herring pushed him into the ropes with a barrage of punches that left him defenseless. The punch that did Sanchez in was a Herring left hook to the head. The referee stopped the fight at the 1:28 mark of the fifth round.
The card opened up with a lightweight bout between Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (4-0, 2 KO) and Jesus Silveyra (8-6-2, 3 KOs). Silveyra recovered from a knockdown in the fourth round, only to be knocked out seconds later by a Gaibnazarov left hand to the jaw. The referee stopped the fight at the 2:05 mark of the fourth round of a scheduled eight round contest.
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