Vasyl Lomachenko retained his WBO super-featherweight title with a sixth round technical knockout of Guillermo Rigondeaux at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday, the impressive Ukrainian handing the Cuban-born stylist his first professional defeat.
The highly-anticipated duel between a pair of double Olympic champions resulted in an anti-climatic finish, however, when Rigondeaux, citing some form of injury to his left hand, and then told the referee that he did not want to continue prior to the start of seventh round.
All three judges had Rigondeaux, who moved up two weight divisions for the bout, behind when he quit in front of a disappointed Madison Square Garden crowd, making it the fourth consecutive Lomachenko fight in which his opponent has retired.
Lomachenko, the 29-year-old heavy pre-fight favourite, defended his title for a fourth time and improved his career record to 10-1 (eight TKOs), including seven knockouts.
The 37-year-old Rigondeaux (17-1), who was warned by the referee several times for foul play, began telling his trainer after the third round that his left hand and wrist hurt.
Although the fight was highly anticipated, and it was the first time in boxer history where a pair of boxers who are two-time Olympic gold medalists collided in the ring, Lomachenko does not view the end-result as a big win for his career.
The reason, is because Rigondeaux is actually a super bantamweight and fights at 122-pounds and went up by eight pounds to 130 to take the fight.
"This is not his weight so it's not a big win for me," Lomachenko, who won gold medals at the Beijing and London Olympics, told reporters. "But he's a good fighter, he's got great skills. I adjusted to his style, low blows and all."
Rigondeaux, who at the moment holds the WBA title in his natural division, is going to move back to 122.