Lineker was looking for his third straight victory in the division and was hopefully knocking on the door for a title shot while Tome was simply hoping to translate his success from the minor leagues into the big show.
Believe it or not, both men actually succeeded.
Early on, Lineker looked for his massive right hand and he scored it sparingly while Tome tried to utilize constant movement to come at him from different angles.
Everything seemed to be going fine in Lineker's favor but then Tome clipped him with a spinning back fist on the chin that he simply never saw coming. Lineker backed off and smiled, but he was on some seriously wobbly legs and Tome swarmed, throwing a knee and some follow-up right and left hooks which knocked "Hands of Stone" off balance. He scored with some more hooks to keep Lineker on wobbly legs, but failed to stay on him which gave Lineker a chance to recover.
Once the second round started, both men went back to the same gameplan but Tome's legs buckled after an exchange. Lineker took advantage of the situation and swarmed with ground and pound, eventually putting the veteran away with punches.
For Jose Maria Tome, he was doing a pretty good job before the very end of the fight. His strategy of constant movement was keeping Lineker guessing and he dished out some serious damage with that perfectly timed spinning back fist which caught Lineker just as he was throwing one of his heavy right hands. Other than the random injury at the end, his only other real mistake was failing to capitalize when he had Lineker in trouble. Granted, Lineker has a great chin, but he was hurt and Tome missed a golden opportunity to make a huge statement and finish him.
For John Lineker, he got a bit lucky last night. Sure, he started strong, even flash knocking Tome down one minute into the fight, but his right hook attack was telegraphed and it almost bit him in the ass with the spinning back first from Tome. If he doesn't have as sturdy of a chin, he probably would have got finished there. As to the finish, while he didn't technically knock Tome down, he did know what to do when you've got an opponent in a vulnerable position and he took advantage of the situation to score a finish.