Boxing manager Gary Hyde was shaking his head on Saturday night, after WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux quit on his stool after six completed rounds in his highly anticipated fight with WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City.
It was the first time in boxing history two, two-time Olympic gold medal winners were matched up in the ring.
But the fight had a very anti-climatic finish, when Rigondeaux, citing a left hand injury, told the referee that he did not want to continue prior to the seventh round.
The 37-year-old Rigondeaux (17-1), who was warned by the referee several times for foul play, lost a point in the sixth for excessive holding.
Hyde, who managed Rigondeaux from the start of his career until they parted ways in 2015.
He felt Rigondeaux was not taking any damage and was never hurt, but mentally broke down - and now the manager fears that Rigondeaux will always be rememberd for the outcome.
Hyde would have never allowed the fight to happen at 130-pounds - which saw Rigondeaux move up by two weight divisions.
“Rigo has a big heart but he surrendered on Saturday night,” Hyde told Irish-boxing.com. “Now he will always be remembered for what happened on Saturday instead of the amazing achievements he has had in boxing as an amateur and pro. He wasn’t hurt and wasn’t beat up so there are obvious mental issues there.”
“Personally I would never have allowed Rigo take this fight at 130lb. Rigo is a very small guy and sometimes weighs 119lb. I would have loved to pitch Rigo against Lomachenko three years ago at a lower weight of 126 and when Rigo wasn’t so old. 37 is really old, more so in the lighter weights.".
“In my opinion Rigo is every bit as good as Loma. Actually I believe they are equal in terms of talent but Rigo is two weight categories lighter and nine years older. Rigo got $400k for the fight which is by any standards a complete rip off. Maybe he was just sick of boxing and getting the wrong end of the stick. So sick that he just said ‘to hell with it."
Hyde also placed the blame on Rigondeaux's trainer, Pedro Diaz, because he feels the Cuban coach should have talked Rigondeaux out of quitting on his stool.
Although Hyde points out that another of Diaz's fighters, Hassan N'Dam, recently quit on his stool in the big rematch with Ryota Murata in Japan. N'dam was also managed by Hyde at one point.
“His coach needs to stand up and be counted here too. If Rigo returned to his corner and said to the coach that he wants out then his coach Pedro Diaz should have whispered in his ear the seriousness of this move but he didn’t," Hyde said.
“It’s is not the first time Diaz had to deal with a fighter quitting on his stool. Last month his middleweight world champion Hassan N’Dam done the very same thing when the going got tough in Japan against Murata
“Diaz surely should have learned from this and should have advised if not demanded that Rigo fights on. This is for the greatest prize in boxing and to become the number 1 pound for pound fighter in the world.”