Guillermo Rigondeaux did not suffer a broken hand in his WBO super-featherweight title fight with Ukrainian slickster Vasyl Lomachenko according to his promoters.
The Cuban maestro chose to remain on his stool after the sixth round rather than going out to face his fellow two-time Olympic champion for a seventh at the Madison Square Garden Theater in New York City on Saturday night. Rigondeaux cited an injury to his left hand as the reason for his unexpected withdrawal.
Many felt that the claim was merely an excuse, as the previously undefeated southpaw was frustrated and dominated in a manner he is very much unaccustomed to over the course of those first 18 minutes. In the aftermath of the fight, scorn and derision was heaped upon the 37-year-old former super-bantamweight titlist from social media, with few rushing to his defence.
Given the regularity with which fighters battle on in spite of broken hands, it’s unlikely that Rigondeaux would have received a retrospective pass from the boxing community if it emerged that he had in fact suffered an injury of that severity, but to make matters even worse the injury he actually sustained was far less debilitating.
“No break, but severe contusion on left hand,” Dino Duva of Roc Nation Sports told Dan Rafael of ESPN in a text message on Tuesday.
That won’t go down well with boxing fans or Rigondeaux’s fellow fighters.
While ‘El Chacal’ saw his legendary status badly tarnished by the events of Saturday night, Lomachenko’s own shiny reputation got a further waxing from the lyrics of virtually the entire combat sports world. The Neo-like 29-year-old has now won nine straight fights since a loss to the vastly experienced and battle-hardened Mexican Orlando Salido in just his second pro outing. During that run he has accounted for three very highly-regarded and previously unbeaten fighters in Gary Russell Jr., former WBA featherweight and super-featherweight champ Nicholas Walters and Rigondeaux, as well as rough, tough three-time WBO super-featherweight titlist Roman Martinez. Along the way, Lomachenko has picked up WBO titles at featherweight and super-featherweight.