This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go, but Jorge Linares took a shellacking in the opening round from Pablo Cesar Cano, who dropped the former lightweight champion three times in the opening round before forcing a stoppage. The fight was officially stopped at 2:48 of Round 1.
Cano came out quickly landing a right hand that dropped Linares in what seemed like the first 15 seconds of the fight. Linares got up, but took a few more punches from Cano which promptly put him back down on the canvas. At that point it became clear that Linares just couldn’t deal with Cano’s size and power at 140lbs. It wasn’t long after that another shot from Cano put Linares back down for a third time, and in real danger.
Linares would beat the count again, but was on unsteady legs, and once the referee saw Linares stagger backwards to the ropes after a couple more punches landed, he knew it was time to step in and stop the fight.
With the shocking win Cano moves to 32-7-1 (22 KOs) while Linares might have one too many dents in that chin, falling to 45-5 (28 KOs).
In the post-fight interview Linares said that Cano suprised him with the power in his right hand, and admitted that fighting at 140lb is a different animal than the lightweight class he’s used to. Linares says he’ll take some time to talk his future over with his team, and a possible move back down to 135lbs.