Lomachenko Frustrates Rigondeaux, Makes Him Quit
Have we witnessed the crowning of a new pound-for-pound king?
Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) was absolutely dominant once again, retaining his WBO Super Featherweight Championship and handing Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-1, 1 NC, 11 KOs) his first professional loss and first loss in any level of boxing since 2003.
Rigondeaux retired at the end of the sixth round, the fourth straight opponent Lomachenko has made quit on the stool between rounds.
“Maybe I change my name. Maybe I change it to “No Mas” Chenko,” Lomachenko joked after the bout.
Both men spent the first round feeling each other out. While Lomachenko showed off his slip and fancy footwork, he was cautious to throw; cautious of Rigondeaux’s counter-punching ability.
The second round saw Lomachenko throwing a lot while Rigondeaux attempted to hold multiple times. Lomachenko continued to throw in the clinch, trying to weaken Rigondeaux’s defenses. The third round saw Rigondeaux continue to hold, while Lomachenko fired away with jabs and uppercuts.
Despite him likely being down 3-0 at this point, Rigondeaux continued to be defensively focused and clinch — it was clear the champ was giving him trouble. The fifth saw another clinch-fest, causing a warning from the referee (the ref also warned Lomachenko for a punch thrown after separating the two from a clinch at the end of the round).
At this point, it had been some time since Rigondeaux threw three punches in a single round. Another clinch in the sixth and the referee had enough, deducting a point from Rigondeaux’s score. After being dominated once more by Lomachenko, the unbeaten challenger admitted defeat on the stool, claiming an injured hand.
In the co-main event, Michael Conlan defeated Luis Fernando Molina via unanimous decision. Conlan was in control from the very starting, working the jab early on in the first. Conlan worked from the southpaw stance in the second, but Molina kept pushing back, trying to make things not easy for the former Olympic bronze medalist.
The switch in stance paid off, as Conlan controlled the fight’s pace with his distance and accuracy. Conlan landed several eye-catching uppercuts in the fifth before cruising to a win in the sixth. Outlanding Molina 128-31, Conlan got 60-54 decisions from all three judges.
Christopher Diaz easily defeated Bryant Cruz after knocking Cruz down four times within the span of three rounds. The first knockdown came midway through round one, when Diaz sent Cruz to the canvas with a right hand. Diaz then knocked Cruz down twice late in the second — once when he landed a right on the temple, and then on the follow up when the fight resumed, sending Cruz into the ropes. After a knockdown in the first minute of the third, the referee stopped the fight and gave the win to Diaz.
Shakur Stevenson defeated Oscar Mendoza in a one-sided affair. Stevenson dominated the first round by landing the harder punches and applying the pressure early, continuing into the second round which saw the fight stopped midway through to give Stevenson a TKO win.