VASYL LOMACHENKO won an anti-climactic battle inside New York’s Madison Square Garden, as Guillermo Rigondeaux quit on his stool after taking a steady beating for six rounds. The Cuban, expected to put up a far sterner challenge, citied an injury to his left hand as the reason for his retirement.
Both had won two Olympic gold medals each. As such, this was expected to be an exceptional bout between two of the most gifted boxers of the modern era. Lomachenko, for his part, was excellent but Rigondeaux, outgunned and out of ideas early in the bout, will likely be defined – cruelly given his array of achievements – by this surrender.
He becomes the fourth consecutive Lomachenko opponent to retire during a bout. We thought this would be different, but Rigondeaux’s fate is just the latest exhibit of the astonishing, spirit-crushing brilliance of the WBO super-featherweight boss.