Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0) was victorious yet again thus far in his professional boxing career, but not without serious drama for the first time.
The super bantamweight champion was knocked down twice before getting off of the canvas to stop a very game Hisashi Amagasa (28-5-2).
The sheer physical advantages kept Amagasa somewhat in the fight throughout. The 6-inch height advantage proved to be a useful tool as Amagasa was able to effectively cut off the ring and land some pretty good shots on the champion.
The first six rounds saw Rigondeaux showing the poise we have gotten accustomed to him exhibiting, being patient, constantly feinting, and picking his shots very well.
In the seventh round Amagasa was able to catch Rigondeaux resetting and pivoting with his hands down, which resulted in him being knocked down.
Afterwards Amagasa surprisingly ran to jump on the ring post as if he had just won, which honestly is just a testament as to how good Rigondeaux really is. He is so seldom hit clean, let alone knocked down that when someone manages to do it, it registers way out of proportion. Furthermore, he didn’t appear to be hurt and popped right back up.
However, Rigondeaux was again caught with hands down and dropped once more. Surprisingly Rigondeaux appeared to be a little shaken up. But as soon as the bell for the eighth round rung it was business as usual, which included Rigondeaux getting in and out, landing multiple power shots until the fight was stopped after the eleventh round.
It will remain to be seen if this fight lures bigger names into the ring with him, probably not though. Santa Cruz is number one on the radar but he doesn’t seem to be in any rush to get in the ring with him, citing that a Rigo fight wouldn’t be “interesting” enough.
Despite multiple requests from the Rigondeaux camp Santa Cruz has decided to go in other directions for opponents.
Maybe if we see Rigondeaux in other tough fights like this the bigger names will get in the ring with him. Maybe?
Or on the contrary the resilience shown after being knocked down twice and eventually stopping his opponent could deter future opponents even further.