By Elliot Foster (@FreelanceFoz)
Vasyl Lomachenko outclassed Gamalier Rodriguez to extend his unbeaten record to five fights.
The two-time Olympic champion defended the WBO featherweight title against his mandatory challenger on the televised portion of the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao undercard in Las Vegas.
Lomachenko, 27, took nine rounds to finish his opponent, but did it competently and with consummate ease, dropping him twice throughout the contest as he put on a boxing exhibition, displaying much of his amateur pedigree in the process.
Despite being hit low several times by Rodríguez, for which the Puerto Rican was deducted two points in total, the Ukrainian will now have his eye on a unification clash with WBA boss Nicolas Walters.
Meanwhile, WBC super bantamweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz scored another victory.
On his featherweight debut, the 26-year-old was up against José Cayetano over 10 rounds.
But despite getting the decision on the grandest of stage, the California-based Mexican again failed to do himself justice as he plodded home after negating the challenge of another overmatched opponent.
Elsewhere, Jesse Hart claimed the vacant USBA super middleweight title with a sixth round stoppage.
As he advanced to 17-0 with 14 early finishes, Hart ended the challenge of Mike Jimenez, who was previously undefeated in 17, after two minutes and 13 seconds of the round.
In cruise control from start to finish, the six-foot-plus puncher effortlessly issued an unanswered barrage of shots which began to snap the 27-year-old’s head back, forcing referee Tony Weeks to step between the pair and call a halt to the action.
But there was a dull affair contested between Christopher Pearson and London-born Said El Harrak over 10 rounds, which went the distance.
The only event of note throughout the whole contest was a head clash suffered by TMT sock-wearing Ohio southpaw Pearson as the non-title clash was scored 98-92 and 99-91 twice in favour of the 24-year-old.
And Brad Solomon kicked off proceedings with a 10-round split decision victory, advancing to 25-0 (9), over Adrian Granados, who slips to 13-4-2 (9) after scorecards of 96-94, 96-94 and 94-96.
The opener, which was originally set for eight stanzas on the non-televised section, was upgraded to 10 rounds and shown worldwide on TV after the cancellation of cruiserweight Andrew Tabiti’s fight against Anthony Caputo-Smith.
After the fight, the defeated Granados was somewhat disconsolate, taking to Twitter to express his disappointment and tweeting: “Got robbed yet again, this one I feel was the worst. I had control of the fight and had Solomon out on his feet at the end #hearthurts.”by