WBA president Gilberto Mendoza announced in November that his organization would strip Guillermo Rigondeaux of the WBA super bantamweight world title if he were to lose to super featherweight world champion Vasyl Lomachenko on Dec. 9. He did. Rather embarrassingly. Mendoza wasn't joking, as Rigondeaux was stripped of the belt Wednesday.
Rigondeaux (17-1, 11 KO's), a Cuban defector fighting out of Miami, was outclassed by Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KO's), of Ukraine. The bout marked the first time in boxing history that two dual Olympic gold medalists squared off against one another. Rigondeaux did most of the talking on Twitter, but on fight night, he only managed to land 15 total punches in six rounds -- and no more than three in any around -- according to Compubox punch statistics.
Rigondeaux blamed his loss on a broken left hand, but X-rays later revealed only a contusion. It was a double whammy for Rigondeaux, who not only had a humiliating performance, but also embarrassed himself by making excuses that quickly backfired.
World champions are stripped periodically for a variety of reasons. We have seen fighters get their titles taken away for inactivity, failing to make weight, refusing to pay sanctioning fees, and brushes with the law among others. It is very uncommon to see fighters get stripped in the way Rigondeaux did.
Rigondeaux moved up two weight classes to face Lomachenko in the highly-anticipated fight, but the odds were very much against him.
For one, he was facing Lomachenko. Secondly, if Rigondeaux won, he would have had five days to decide whether to keep the 130-pound belt or return to the 122-pound division to defend that title.
Of course, he lost. As a result, he has nothing. That may seem unfair to some. But to others, especially after his performance against Lomachenko, they may not feel so sorry after all.