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Salgado stops Linares in first round; scores upset to win title!

Juan Carlos Salgado TKO1 Jorge Linares...Over the weekend in Tokyo, Japan, Juan Carlos Salgado won the WBA super featherweight championship, upsetting the previously unbeaten Jorge Linares by way of a first round technical knockout. Salgado dropped Linares with a quick left-right combination less than a minute into the round. Linares seemed to hit his head as he fell to the canvas from the first knockdown, which discombobulated him when he rose to his feet and beat the initial eight count. As the action resumed, Salgado wasted no time as he sprinted across the ring and fiercely attacked Linares, prompting the referee to stop the contest 1:13 into the first round.

Such a loss spells devastation early in the career of Linares, who joins Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz in the latest of young fighters who have suffered disappointing upset losses by way of stoppage. Perhaps what is most unfortunate about this defeat is the fact that this was Linares' Golden Boy Promotions debut, as the 24 year old was recently the latest of a series of prize fighters to sign with the promotional power house.

Linares had been showing promise as a young titlist and rising young star in the game, ever since his 10th round TKO of Oscar Larios in July of 2007. Where Linares goes from here, and how well he is able to rebound, remains to be seen. Possibly with careful matchmaking and an ability to learn from this set back, Linares will be able to fight his way back into contention and garner another title shot down the road. Others have lost fights in a similar fashion and have been able to climb back into contention to win world titles.

Khan, the current WBA super lightweight champion who was stopped in 52 seconds by the power punching Columbian Breidis Prescott in September of 2008, has since been able to sustain a successful return to prominence under the tutelage of trainer Freddie Roach. Khan scored a five round technical decision over Marco Antonio Barrera last March, further adding to the foundation of that win by securing his first world title with an impressive unanimous decision over Andriy Kotelnik this past July in Manchester.

Years ago super bantamweight Oscar Larios was hurt and stopped in similar fashion when he fought Israel Vasquez, who is currently one of the best pound for pound fighters in the sport of boxing. A few years later, Larios and Vasquez would have a rematch in which Larios exacted revenge by beating up Vasquez and stopping him in the 12th and final round of a sensational fight that was televised on ESPN Friday Night Fights. Therefore anything is possible in rematches, should a rematch between Salgado and Linares materialize in the future. After all, it was not as if Salgado issued an extended beating to Linares or even knocked him out in brutal fashion.

This was a case of Linares being caught cold and stopped early. What remains to be seen is how well Linares is able to recover from such a loss, moreso mentally than physically.