Despite what looked a tricky test on paper, Japan-based Venezuelan Jorge Linares defeated Nihito Arakawa in superb fashion with some beautifully executed boxing and flashy combinations.
The tough 28 year-old controlled the tempo and pattern of the ten-round fight for the duration and came out with a dominant points win in what was a WBC lightweight title eliminator.
A predictable cut late in the contest did little to dampen the pace or ferocity of Linares, who can now expect to be in the mix to be the next challenger to current 135lb champion Omar Figueroa.
Judges carded scores of 100-90 twice and 98-92, which was just rewards for the high energy performance laid down by Linares – who has come on leaps and bounds since his crushing losses to Antonio DeMarco and Sergio Thompson.
The pay-per-view opener saw Sergio Thompson put Ricardo Alvarez on the floor as ‘Ye-Yo’ was forced to go the distance by the brother of ‘Canelo’ for just the fifth time in his career.
Following a fast start, Thompson looked on his way to a 27th stoppage from 29 wins in the opening round, although a dogged Alvarez hung in there and eventually came on strong later in the fight.
After the ten completed rounds, Thompson came away with a 97-91, 95-93 (twice) victory to claim the WBC International lightweight belt and move closer to a possible world title clash at 135lbs.
Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay for tweets of upcoming news on WBN