By: Hans Themistode
Former three division world champion Jorge Linares (47-5, 29 KOs) has kept a close eye on pound for pound star Vasiliy Lomachenko. Both men shared the ring against one another in May of 2018. According to most observers, Linares is credited with giving the former two time Olympic gold medalist the toughest fight of his career.
The Venezuela native not only kept up with Lomachenko from a technical standpoint, but in large spots, he out boxed his man. With a knockdown to his name in the sixth round, Linares was down by two points on one scorecard, up by the same score on another, while the third judge saw things even, before ultimately getting stopped in the tenth round.
His performance on the night is something that has made him proud. But while he was left impressed with Lomachenko’s capabilities in the ring, he noticed something as of late.
“Lomachenko is not the same guy as he was in my fight,” said Linares during a recent interview with Fight Hub. “He’s not the same. Nope. He is different. He hasn’t done an amazing job since my fight. He’s not the same guy. Maybe because he’s old. It’s been two years since our fight and people change so much after two years.”
At the age of 32, Lomachenko is currently two years, younger than Linares. Still, the wear and tear from two successful trips to the Olympics in 2008 and 2012 coupled with an extensive amateur career that saw him go a ridiculous 396-1, Linares believes that the mileage is adding up not only for Lomachenko but also for 38 year old Gennadiy Golovkin (GGG).
The current IBF middleweight belt holder struggled mightily in his latest ring appearance against Sergiy Derevyanchenko. While he chalked it up to being under the weather, Linares simply wasn’t buying it.
With his 35th birthday staring him directly in the face later this month, the former three division world champion doesn’t believe he should be in the same category as those he has criticized. For Linares, both Lomachenko and Golovkin are heading towards the ground floor on their elevators. For the Venezuelan native however, he still has a few more floors to climb.
“Lomachenko has spent so much of his life training and GGG is the same way. Now, they are going down. But look at me, I’m 34, turning 35 next month but I’m going to the top.”
Despite the assessment that his skills are fading, Linares still believes that Lomachenko is a great fighter. However, his aura of invincibility is slowly fading away.
“Lomachenko is a very smart guy and fast, very difficult but he isn’t the same guy anymore.”