Loma Beats Rigo
Vasyl Lomachenko Forces Guillermo Rigondeaux to Quit
By Derick Smith
It's over. Next.
"He wasn't fighting at his weight, he wasn't fighting at his size. This wasn't big win for me, maybe for boxing, maybe for fans, but not for me," stated Vasyl Lomachenko after his one-sided win over Guillermo Rigondeaux, who couldn't, or wouldn't answer the bell for the seventh round Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
New York City, a bastion of Russian boxing pride, helped to make the crowd pro Lomachenko. Although there was a sizable Cuban contingency, they didn’t have much to cheer about.
Making weight at the 130 lb. limit on Friday, Rigondeaux weighed- in at a no more room to grow 130 pounds at fight time. Super featherweight champion Lomachenko weighed -in at 137 lbs., 'nuff said.
During the first round the fighters tested each other with feints and parries. Loma began to establish his jab, which marked the beginning of the end for Rigo. Rigondeaux had no answer for Lomachenko's jab or the rapid-fire combinations that followed.
"During second round I figure out his style, then I go to work," said Lomachenko in his thick Russian accent. "After the third round I think to myself, 'you are mine, you are mine."
The Ukrainian stylist began doubling up on his jab, occasionally feinting the jab over the crouching Rigondeaux's head, nailing him with uppercuts, and double uppercuts.
Rigondeaux had problems getting off, and problems getting to Lomachenko
and quickly became a study in futility. Whenever Lomachenko would get inside Rigo would play clutch and grab.
Round four saw Loma doing a Sugar Ray Leonard impersonation by lowering his hands, sticking out his chin, and leaning forward. Lomachenko taunted the Cuban continuously. Nobody's foil or fool, an offended Rigondeaux grabbed Lomachenko in a headlock in the fifth round and dragged him to the ropes, causing an amused Lomachenko to remark later " this is wrestling not boxing. If he wants to wrestle I'll wrestle him."
Losing a point in round six for holding, Rigondeaux threw a sweeping roundhouse left that partially landed, eliciting a surprised gasp from the crowd. It would be Rigondeaux's first and last hurrah. Between rounds six and seven, Rigondeaux stayed on his stool as his trainer removed his gloves, offering an injured hand as an escape clause. Loma wasn't buying that, and boasted after the fight, "I fought six rounds in Macao with a broken hand and won every round."
In the aftermath, reflecting on the fight, it wasn't no-mas, maybe mini-mas, and considering the size disparity, perhaps Mickey-mas.
Possessing a flashy, charismatic style, Lomachenko a natural showman, has a bright future. As for Rigondeaux, his broken hand was either a ruse or a rationalization to pull the rip-cord. To add insult to feigned injury, Rigondeaux was also stripped of his 122lb WBA belt.