Lomachenko is regarded by many as boxing's very best and a win for Linares would be the icing on the cake following a hard-fought 47 fight career, which has had its ups and downs.
Vasyl Lomachenko, the best all-around fighter since Floyd Mayweather continued his greatness on Saturday night.
Victory for Lomachnko see's him become a three weight world champion in only 12 fights as a pro, surpassing Oscar De La Hoya who achieved the same feat in 22 fights.
Lomachenko has been a heck of a story. It was his first fight in the lightweight division. Hi-Tech ended the round with a number of clean shots to put him two rounds up.
All change in round six from the tempo of Lomachnko working the angle of head and body of Linares, walked into a short right hand from the champion sending Lomachenko to the canvas for the first time as a professional and for the first time since the 2007 world amateur championships.
It's been an impressive adventure for the kid from Venezuela. "I mean, back-to-back losses". "After this fight, we know now that he is a fighter". That brutal body blow left Linares on one knee. If he is going to try to give me a hard time, I'm going to do it a different way. I know what I have to do to win. I have to prepare.
Linares, 44-3, has impressive pedigree at world level, claiming the scalps of Kevin Mitchell, Anthony Crolla and Luke Campbell in recent years. But his championship run will likely come to an end Saturday. Lomachenko also holds the WBO super featherweight title and will likely have to decide in the coming weeks which title he will have to vacate in favor of keeping the other one.
"I'm always interested in unifying the titles", he said. "He needs to worry about it".
I can't predict a knockout but in my heart I know it's Lomachenko. I'm the natural lightweight here. He needs to be ready.
Lomachenko apparently loves when an opponent boasts.
That said, it is the Ukrainian who starts this fight as the hot favourite and you can see why. Nobody tried to talk him out of taking on somebody who boxers don't exactly line up to fight. But after the fight, nobody comes to the press conference. "It happens", Lomachenko said. Things seemed to be going smoothly for Lomachenko until Lomachenko got what he described after the fight as another boxing lesson in the sixth round.
The opening round was a feeling out process, though fighters were throwing a lot.
"He was smaller than I at that point". Now he's moving up to 135 and people say is this a bridge too far?
Local featherweight champions Leo Santa Cruz (Lincoln Heights) and Abner Mares (Hawaiian Gardens) will tangle June 9 at Staples Center (on Showtime) in a rematch of their 2015 fight there won by Santa Cruz. "It will be a very memorable night", he said. "But I just hope they're not sleeping on me, because they've awoken a sleeping giant".
Charlo promised he is not sleeping on Trout.
"Every fighter fights in the ring the way his opponent lets him fight", Lomachenko said. "I'm thinking more about what kind of strategy I'm going to be doing and what kind of pace I'm going to be doing".