Vasyl Lomachenko put on a dazzling display of the sweet science to successfully defended his WBO World featherweight title by stopping/outpointing a game but ineffective Gamalier Rodriguez on the undercard to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight on Saturday at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Lomachenko gave Rodriguez a boxing masterclass on his way to a ninth-round knckout, courtesy of a right hook from Lomachenko. Lomachenko had dropped Rodriguez once earlier in the fight, in the 7th round, from a shot to the body.
Rodriguez acquitted himself well in the earlier rounds, spoiling and crowding Lomachenko’s rhythm, and landing well to the body. But by the third round, the Ukrainian’s precision,timing, speed, and superior footwork were in full display; by the fourth frame it was target practice for Lomachenko.
Rodriguez hardly tried to rise from the hook that put him down for the last time.
CompuBox had Lomachenko landing 227 out of 586 punches thrown; Rodriguez landed 55 of 285.
Vasyl Lomachenko is a quickly rising star in the lower-weight divisions of the sport. Despite his deceivingly thin record of 4-1, the two-time Olympic gold medalist amassed an incredible amateur record of 396-1 before turning professional in 2013 and has since been turning heads and impressing fans and insiders.
Lomachenko, 27 years old, entered Saturday’s night having outpointed Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo and Gary Russell Jr after suffering his only loss in a dirty, “welcome to the big leagues” bout against veteran Orlando Salido.
Puerto Rican Gamalier Rodriguez (25-3-3, 17 KOs) had not dropped a fight before tonight since 2009. 28-year-old Rodriguez was last in action with a TKO win over Martin Cardona. Prior to the Cardona fight, Rodriguez had defeated Orlando Cruz and Aldimar Silva Santos.