Rigondeaux Dazzles, Kirkland Punishes

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Guillermo Rigondeaux taught a masterclass this weekend. Rigondeaux beat Joseph Agbeko by a shutout on all three of the official judges scorecards, improving to 13-0 with 8 KOs.
Rigondeaux absolutely embarrassed and dismantled one of the toughest SOB’s in the sport. Rigondeaux barely broke a sweat, and never had to breath heavy. It was as impressive a performance as you will ever see. I truly believe that Rigondeaux could fight multiple guys in a night, who are on a world class level. Of course Rigondeaux’s detractors will call it “a boring fight” and dismiss his talent. Which is fine, I once attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I hated it. By no means does that take anything away from the art inside, It is not for everyone. The same can be said for Rigondeaux’s fights.
From here the sky is the limit for Rigondeaux, he is already a consensus top 5 pound for pound fighter. His biggest trouble will be finding opponents willing to face him. Donaire called him out following his knockout of Vic Darchinyan, but lets be real clear, niether Donaire or Bob Arum have any intention of a rematch taking place. He should look to face fellow titleholders Scott Quigg and the winner of Kiko Martinez vs Jefferey Mathebula. Also, should Darchinyan decide to continue boxing, he looked good enough against Donaire to warrant a fight with Rigondeaux. Lomachenko will be a big fight down the road as well.
Now to Kirkland vs Tapia; I enjoyed the fight, it was exciting and had me screaming at the TV like a bloodthirsty animal. Both fighters should be commended for their bravery and for the war they took part in. However, the fight should have been stopped after the fifth round. Tapia was badly hurt in the last bit of that fight, and there was little to no reason to let it continue. It wasn’t a close fight, and Tapia was not showing any signs that he could win the fight. He was not acting himself in the corner, and was nearly falling asleep, which eerily reminded me of Magomed Abdusalamov a few weeks ago. His corner was disgraceful in my eyes, and the ringside doctor let it continue to avoid being booed. Smoger, who I have met and have a lot of admiration for, was not the man to have ref that fight. He did a bad job, and could have gotten Tapia badly hurt.
It is sad that in a sport where lives are on the line that stopping a fight a second too early is viewed as worse than stopping it a second to late. Fans won’t voice their displeasure for Smoger’s poor performance the way they did Howard Foster’s in England. The Froch fight was stopped too soon, but I would rather see a man live to fight another day than go out on his shield and die in a coma. To quote the Ayatollah from the movie The Wrestler, “we gave em enough Ram”, if only Tapia’s trainer would have said that after round five.
From here Kirkland will definitely receive a big fight, hopefully against either Vanes Martirosyan or Demetrius Andrade. Both would be very winnable fights for him, as long as he keeps Anne Wolfe in his corner. Tapia however needs to take a long break to recover and he should seriously look into getting a new trainer.
In the opening fight of the night Matthew Macklin won a close decision against the untested Lamar Russ. Macklin looked fairly well in the fight, but did not appear to be the top five middleweight he was two years ago.
Macklin would be very wise to accept Andy Lee’s challenge or try and secure a rematch against the newly crowned IBF middleweight champion Felix Sturm.
What did you think of the HBO card? Who do you want to see the fighters face next? Let me know in the comments section below.

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