Jorge Linares suffers shock first-round loss to Pablo Cesar Cano
'El Nino's floored three times in 50th professional fight
By Tim Hobbs
Last Updated: 19/01/19 9:09am
Jorge Linares suffered a stunning first-round loss at the hands of the hard-hitting Pablo Cesar Cano.
'El Nino' was down three times in an astonishing opener, the referee stepping in to call it off 12 seconds from the end of the round, as the fans' favourite was in serious trouble.
The Madison Square Garden crowd was as surprised as the three-weight world champion whose 50th professional appearance ended in disaster and shattered his chances of fighting for a world title at super-lightweight.
The first knockdown came just 15 seconds in with KO specialist Cano's clubbing right landing flush and although Linares was up quickly, it was only going to get worst for him.
The second came from another brutal right overhand with 1min 24secs on the clock, and although he tried to fight fire with fire it proved to be his downfall as Cano switched to a vicious left hook to put him down again, less than a minute later.
The Mexican rightly went for the finish and straight right sent Linard stumbling back onto the ropes, his balance gone, and Ricky Gonzalez did the right thing and stepped in to stop it.
WBO super-lightweight champion Maurice Hooker was ringside, but it is now likely to be Cano who challenges him next, with 'El Nino' admitting 140lbs could well be a step too far.
"He surprised me with that big right hand. He's got power, he can punch, so he surprised me in the first round," he told DAZN.
"Five pounds is so different but before that, at 135, I was better and better. Now I've moved up to 140, it's hard for me, right now."