John Riel Casimero defended his WBO bantamweight title in what was a difficult struggle against Guillermo Rigondeaux at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Casimero, a three weight world champion, was defending his gold for a second time against a decorated Cuban in Rigondeaux, who was a double Olympic Champion, as well as a former world champion at bantamweight and super bantamweight.
This one was expected to be a technical affair, due mainly to Rigondeaux’s safety first style, and that’s exactly how it turned out over twelve tough to watch rounds. The fight lacked that much action, that it broke an unwanted CompuBox record for the least punches landed over 12 rounds. The only real highlight came in the first round, when a left hook landed from Casimero that forced Rigondeaux to the canvas, but the referee ruled a slip.
From there, it was a torrid affair, with Rigondeaux choosing to fight technically, using all of the ring to avoid any type of engagement with the Filipino, who then in turn, struggled to pin his opponent down. In fairness, it looked as though ‘El Chacal’ had done enough to get the nod, but the with nearly all of the rounds devoid of any definitive action, it was anyone’s guess as to who would get their hand raised as the ‘fight’ went to the scorecards.
A card in Rigondeaux’s favour at 115-113 was overruled by the other two judges, who had Casimero as the winner, but scores of 117-111 and 116-112.
The eliminator for the WBA bantamweight title proved inconclusive, as Gary Antonio Russell’s meeting with Emmanuel Rodriguez ended in a no contest during the opening round. An accidental clash of heads left former world champion Rodriguez unable to continue.
Rau’Shee Warren kept his hopes alive for another crack at world honours, after serving as world champion previously, and he kept on track to do just that with a second round knockout win against Damian Vazquez. Vazquez was dropped twice in the first frame, and the ending was only one more round in coming.
Bantamweight Rau’Shee Warren gave Damien Vazquez the “One-Hitter Quitter” in the second round of Saturday night’s fight. pic.twitter.com/k7B0YYPHFF
— The Sage of Sports (@SageOfSports1) August 15, 2021
Another former world champion on the bill was Juan Carlos Payano, and the Dominican forced Raymond Tabugon to retire after five rounds of their schedule eight rounder. Payano scored a knockdown in the first round, but was then cut in the second before forcing Tabugon’s corner to withdraw their man from battle att the end of the fifth.
Brandun Lee scored three knockdowns in a first round win against Ezequiel Victor Fernandez, while Jonas Sultan took seven rounds of his scheduled eight rounder with Sharone Carter to finish the job.
.@Brandun_Lee bludgeoned Victor Fernandez and scored a first round KO.
— Manouk Akopyan (@ManoukAkopyan) August 15, 2021
In middleweight action, Alan Emmanuel Castano scored a third round knockout against Christian Aguirre, and Benjamin Stanoff made his debut, taking a four round points win against Maycon Oller De Silva.