by Steve Kim
It was a rather abrupt and surprising end to the bout between WBO super featherweight champion, Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs), and Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-1, 11 KOs).
While the Ukrainian was dominating the action after six rounds he wasn't putting a beating on Rigondeaux, who had moved up two weight classes for this fight.
But as he went back to his corner after the sixth round, Rigondeaux, called it quits claiming a hand injury. It was a disappointing finish to what was a highly anticipated match-up.
It was the first defeat Rigondeaux, as a pro or amateur, since 2003. For Lomachenko, it was the fourth opponent in a row to calls it quits during the fight - following Miguel Marriaga, Jason Sosa and Nicholas Walters - with Sosa and Walters being former world champions.
The way this fight concluded didn't surprise Lomachenko's manager, Egis Klimas.
"No, I wasn't surprised, even Lomachenko said during the fighter meetings (with ESPN), he said, 'I'm not going to be surprised if he quit.' So it's a shame for these boxing these guys coming and quitting right here on their stool instead of fighting. Even being with a boring fighter like Rigondeaux, Lomachenko did such a good performance and gave an entertaining fight," Klimas told Boxingscene.com.
Many believed that Rigondeaux (the WBA super bantamweight belt-holder) was severely handicapped with the fight being contested at a weight limit of 130-pounds but Klimas points out that when his man was the WBO featherweight titlist, they had tried to make a fight with Rigo on several occassions and says the Cuban boxer wanted a catch-weight.
"We offered him to fight at 126 (pounds) - but they wanted to do a catch-weight at 124. We were fighting at 126. But yes, it was offered like two or three times for Rigondeaux to fight at 126," Klimas said.
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.