Lomachenko stops Rigondeaux to retain WBO world title

Lynette Rowe
December 11, 2017

The junior lightweight title holder defended his belt for a fourth time on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City, forcing opponent Guillermo Rigondeaux to quit following the sixth round with a left hand injury.

It was his first loss in 18 fights and he was roundly booed by the crowd after becoming the fourth opponent to quit while facing Lomachenko. My name is No-Mas-chenko, ' he said.

That's certainly fitting, seeing as how so many of his recent opponents have been forced to quit in the middle of their fights against Lomachenko.

When the pair finally met close up, Rigondeaux continually clinched and held with referee Steve Willis warning him as early as the second before eventually deducting a point in the final round. "The body of work from this kid is something that is virtually incredible".

"I mean every time someone goes against this guy recently, they quit". This is something really unique.

The win should fire Lomachenko to the top of the pound-for-pound rankings after dismantling fellow top ranked Rigondeaux.

Coming from Arum, that's some incredible praise for Lomachenko, who is now 10-1.

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Rigondeaux stepped up two weight divisions to face Lomachenko and the jump and height difference played a major part in the six rounds.

Rigondeaux and his corner threw in the towel with the former world champion sitting on his stool, claiming he had a serious injury to his left hand. He's a very technical fighter.

"I lost, no excuses", Rigondeaux said through an interpreter. He's explosive. I'm gonna come back because that's what I do.

"He's a good fighter, he's a top fighter, he's a king in boxing but he's king in his weight category".

First he has to deal with Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs), the 122-pound champion moving up two weight classes for an ESPN-televised chance to earn the appreciation that his unbeaten pro career hasn't brought yet.

Many fighters have wilted under the pressure of Lomachenko's speed and superb jab and Rigondeaux seemed to be suffering a similar fate of his predecessors before calling it a day in between rounds six and seven.

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