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RIGONDEAUX QUITS AS NO-MAS-CHENKO ALREADY MAKES FOUR SUCCESSIVE OPPONENTS SURRENDER


PhilBoxing.com




Vasyl Lomachenko versus Guillermo Rigondeaux was billed as a showdown between two of the deadliest and most accomplished amateurs in the history of boxing. Both fighters were two-time Olympic gold medalists, world champions in the professional ranks and their much anticipated encounter drew a sold out crowd at the Madison Square Garden Theater. The audience expected a war but it ended in a one-sided battle in favor of the Ukrainian champion.

* * *

Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) did anything he wanted on Rigondeaux (17-1-1 NC, 11 KOs) almost at will, as the Cuban southpaw pulled out of the fight at the end of round six, allegedly due to an injured left hand. The crowd of course was disgusted on Rigondeaux’s act of surrender. His chances of winning fell even further as he was too behind on the judges' scorecards when he was deducted a point for constant holding of the dominant Lomachenko. Rigondeaux's only chance of a victory then was a KO which at the rate the Ukrainian battered him is next to impossible.

* * *

Lomachenko was superior in every aspect of the fight, with his footwork, quickness, and timing of his jabs and punches, and Rigondeaux was taught neat boxing lessons right from the opening bell. Rigondeaux, who lost for the first time as a professional and as an amateur since 2003, absorbed Lomachenko’s near flawless combinations and the Cuban never suffered such a ring humiliation in his career until Saturday night.

* * *

“He’s a good fighter. He’s a top fighter,” Lomachenko even praised Rigondeaux. “He’s a king in boxing, but a king in his weight category. It wasn’t his weight, so it’s not a big win for me, because it’s not his weight category.” Rigondeaux said he will come back and he’s ready to face anyone, and declared the weight was not the reason for him to quit. “It wasn’t about the weight. It was just the hand that I injured. That’s why I could not continue. I do give Vasyl Lomachenko credit, though. He is an excellent boxer.”

* * *

Rigondeaux went on to hold Lomachenko repeatedly and employed other dirty tactics, forcing referee Steve Willis to penalize the Cuban in the sixth round. A physically and mentally beaten Rigondeaux didn’t get off his stool to answer the bell for the seventh round. He became the second world-class fighter to quit a fight against Lomachenko. Nicholas Walters did the same act of surrender in a bout with Lomachenko in 2016.

* * *

Rigondeaux became the fourth successive boxer to quit in a fight with Lomachenko. After Walters, in a featherweight unification bout, WBA "Regular" champion Jason Sosa failed to return for round 10 when his trainer pulled him out. Colombian former featherweight world title challenger Miguel Marriaga was dropped twice by Lomachenko in the match, before Marriaga's corner stopped the fight after round 7.

* * *

After the win against Marriaga, Bob Arum admired Lomachenko, comparing him to former heavyweight world champion and legend Muhammad Ali, who had 27 of his professional fights promoted by Arum. The Top Rank boss said "I never saw anything like this. He's unbelievable. Not only does he have the knowledge, he has the skill set that I've never seen before. Fast, reflexes, everything and he really entertains. Who else did that? Muhammad Ali."

* * *

Earlier, the Ukrainian southpaw boasted that he believes he can make the Cuban foe Rigondeaux surrender when they face each other. “I’m not gonna be surprised if he’s gonna quit,” Lomachenko said days before the fight with Rigondeaux. Loma tried to psychologically disturb Rigo with that prediction. And indeed it became true when Rigo quit between the sixth and seventh round. Rigondeaux took home $400,000 for his performance and Lomachenko made $1 million for another impressive fight.

* * *

Rigondeaux posted on Twitter: "For everyone that believe on me and even for those that didn't. There is only one thing I can say right now. I am sorry. Vasyl Lomachenko is everything they say he is and I would like to congratulate him on his victory and thanks Top Rank and ESPN for the opportunity."

* * *

Featherweight prospects Christopher Diaz, Shakur Stevenson, and Michael Conlan won their respective fights on the Lomachenko-Rigondeaux undercard in New York. Diaz (22-0, 14 KOs) totally overpowered Bryant Cruz (18-3, 9 KOs), scoring a third round TKO victory where he dropped Cruz four times. 2016 Olympic silver medalist Stevenson improved to (4-0, 2 KOs) with a second round stoppage over Oscar Mendoza (4-3, 2 KOs).

* * *

2012 Olympic bronze medalist Conlan (5-0, 4 KOs) had his stoppage streak ended in a win over an extremely overmatched Argentine Luis Molina (7-4-1, 2 KOs). Each of the three judges scored the fight 60-54 for the 26-year-old Conlan. He pressed Molina in the sixth round trying to score a stoppage. But the 29-year-old Molina still has not been knocked out in his career.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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