Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Vasyl Lomachenko
Void of big fights, unloved by fans and promoters alike due to his outright refusal to make bouts exciting, Rigondeaux desperately needed a standout result as the memories of his masterclass over Nonito Donaire steadily faded. With many of his same-weight contemporaries reticent about engaging with the enigmatic Cuban, it was a jump up in weight that finally pushed him back into the public consciousness. As if jumping two weight classes wasn’t enough for Rigo, he was in against arguably the best pound-for-pound boxer on the planet.
Vasyl Lomachenko’s matrix-style ability means he is an unfathomably hard night’s work for even the most skilled of champions. Smaller Rigondeaux tried to use the same tactics and skillset that had served him so well throughout a pro career that began in 2009. Loma, however, worked out the Cuban’s direction of travel fairly early on and set about timing him for as long as it lasted. Whenever Rigo ducked out of the way, he found Lomachenko’s fists waiting for him. Never truly beaten up, but never in danger of winning many rounds or turning the tide over the distance, Rigondeaux retired on his stool at the end of the sixth round citing a damaged right hand.