Rigondeaux rallies from knockdowns to retain titles
WBO/WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0, 10 KOs) battled back from two knockdowns to defeat Hisashi Amagasa (28-5-2, 19 KOs) and retain his titles by eleventh round stoppage on Wednesday night at the Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka, Japan.
The double Olympic champion from Cuba, who defected and now lives in Miami, looked to be in control for the first six rounds but he was stunned by a fine shot to the chin that sent him to the canvas in the seventh and he went down again before the end of the round, albeit claiming to have slipped.
Rigondeaux was giving up more than six inches in height to Amagasa, who had dropped down a weight to challenge him, and the Japanese fighter came out aggressively, trying to make the most of his obvious advantage.
But Rigondeaux found a length he was comfortable at and all appeared well until the seventh when Amagasa caught him flush on the chin as he was retreating from an attack.
The 34-year-old was up quickly but, despite there being less than 30 seconds on the clock when he hit the canvas, he was down again before the seventh round bell, this time landing flat on his face after a flurry of Amagasa punches.
Rigondeaux was soon back in command as the eighth round opened and he dropped Amagasa midway through the 10th, with his lanky opponent suffering bad swelling around the eyes as well as what looked like a possible broken jaw or cheekbone.
He continued his dominance in the 11th as the swelling worsened and Amagasa was eventually forced to retire on his stool before the final three minutes.
Rigondeaux was well on top on all three cards when the bout was stopped, leading 107-99, 107-99 and 105-101.
Also on the card, Japanese veteran Katsunari Takayama (28-7, 11 KOs) picked up the vacant IBF/WBO stawweight belts as he halted compatriot Go Odaira (11-4-3, 1 KO) in the seventh round.