Vasyl Lomachenko defeats Gamalier Rodriguez in featherweight bout

Vasyl Lomachenko wins featherweight bout with ninth-round knockout of Gamalier Rodriguez

LAS VEGAS -- Vasyl Lomachenko has accomplished so much already.

Two Olympic gold medals. A world title in his third pro fight. And now a dominant win before what was probably the largest pay-per-view audience in history.

The Ukrainian opened the broadcast portion of the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao undercard by knocking out Puerto Rico's Gamalier Rodriguez in the ninth round.

Lomachenko (4-1) ended the bout 50 seconds into the round with a devastating right uppercut. Rodriguez (25-3-3), the top World Boxing Organization contender, seemed ready to rise, but then apparently thought better of it.

Lomachenko began to assert control in the third round, flashing a speedy combination, then whipping Rodriguez with the left to the chest and a hard short right to the face.

Lomachenko knocked Rodriguez down with a hard left to the gut in the seventh. The challenger then had a point deducted in the eighth for a low blow.

In the second bout on the pay-per-view program Leo Santa Cruz, a Mexican fighting out of Rosemead, remained unbeaten with a unanimous decision over Tijuana's Jose Cayetano in an active 10-round featherweight fight that featured nearly 1,500 punches.

Santa Cruz (30-0-1) dominated early and had Cayetano (17-4) moving backward for much of the night, winning every round.

In bouts that weren't included on the broadcast, Philadelphia's Jesse Hart ran his record to 17-0 by stopping Mike Jimenez of Chicago at 2:31 of the sixth round of their super-middleweight championship bout. Jimenez came into the night unbeaten in 17 fights.

The middleweight fight between Chris Pearson of Dayton, Ohio, and hometown favorite Said El Harrak of Henderson, Nev., went the distance, with Pearson (12-0) winning a unanimous decision. El Harrak fell to 12-3. And in the super-middleweight fight that started the day, Brad Solomon of Lafayette, La., ran his record to 25-0 with a split-decision win over Adrian Granados (13-4) of Cicero, Ill.

A scheduled junior cruiserweight bout between Andrew Tabiti and Anthony Smith was scratched.

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
73°