With his opponent unwilling to throw punches, Guillermo Rigondeaux played target practice in another dominant display of boxing superiority.
Rigondeaux again proved why he is one of the sport’s best technicians as the Cuba native and Miami resident won a lopsided decision over Joseph Agbeko late Saturday in Atlantic City, N.J.
Rigondeaux adeptly landed lead lefts and uppercuts during his successful defense of two sanctioning body super-bantamweight titles. Agbeko rarely initiated the action and Rigondeaux built an overwhelming advantage in landedpunches.
All three judges validated Rigondeaux’s performance with identical scorecards of, 120-108. With the win, Rigondeaux (13-0) retained his World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organization titles.
“I always try to do my best; I am improving with every fight,” said Rigondeaux, whose win against Agbeko followed his unanimous decision victory over Nonito Donaire, a former pound-for-pound best-ranked fighter, eight months ago.
Agbeko (29-5) far from resembled the fighter who had won a bantamweight title. The native of Ghana often stood with his guard up and intended to pressure Rigondeaux but seldom threw combinations, prompting jeers from fans who watched the fight at Boardwalk Hall.
“Agbeko is a difficult fighter,” Rigondeaux said. “He didn’t put up much of a challenge. That is why the fight didn’t turn out how everyone expected.”
While Agbeko was reluctant to trade shots, James Kirkland and Glen Tapia fought at a furious pace on the Rigondeaux-Agbeko undercard. Kirkland eventually wore down Tapia with relentless head and body shots and won by sixth-round technical knockout.
Erislandy Lara, a teammate of Rigondeaux’s from the Cuban amateur system, also enjoyed a solid victory Saturday night. Lara won a lopsided unanimous decision over former super-welterweight titleholder Austin Trout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Lara solidified his victory with a knockdown in the 11th round. All three judges scored the fight for Lara, 117-110 (twice) and 118-109.
On the same card, former Paulie Malignaggi won a unanimous decision over Zab Judah in a bout between Brooklyn natives and former welterweight titleholders.
Shawn Porter won the International Boxing Federation welterweight title with a unanimous decision over defending champion Devon Alexander.
Hall of Fame
They never shared the ring again after their highly anticipated bout 14 years ago ended in controversy, but Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad will jointly participate in the event that defines boxing immortality.
De La Hoya and Trinidad will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame next summer. The former multiple division champions were elected in their first year of eligibility.
“This is the dream of everyone who puts on a pair of gloves and steps between the ropes and through the good and the bad, you always hope that when all is said and done, you put on good fights, entertained the fans and will be remembered for what you did in the ring,” De La Hoya said in a statement. “To know that I will be in the Hall of Fame with the greats of this sport is humbling.”
De La Hoya retired in 2008 after a 16-year career in which he won 39 of 45 fights and six world titles. His first loss was against Trinidad in September 1999, when the native of Puerto Rico won a disputed majority decision.
Despite constant talk of a possible rematch, De La Hoya and Trinidad never fought again.
Trinidad benefited from the win against De La Hoya and became one of the top pay-per-view performers of the early 2000s. Trinidad won 42 of 45 professional fights and world titles in three weight classes.
“I am happy and honored that I will be part of this group of boxers who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Trinidad said.
The 2014 Hall of Fame class also will include Joe Calzaghe, who had an 11-year run as super-middleweight champion. The native of Wales finished his career with a 46-0 record.
The induction ceremony will be June 8 in Canastota, N.Y.