Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank
Saturday, December 7, 2013, HBO and Top Rank presented an exciting boxing triple-header.
The night featured three televised bouts, starting with Matthew Macklin (30-5, 20 KOs) vs. Lamar Russ (14-1, 7 KOs).
The second bout of the evening marked the return of “The Mandingo Warrior” James Kirkland (32-1, 28 KOs) as he faced undefeated up-and-comer and Jersey native, Glen Tapia (20-1, 12 KOs).
And in the main event, boxing wizard Guillermo Rigondeaux (13-0, 8 KOs) returned to the ring for the first time since dominating Nonito Donaire earlier this year. The two-time gold medal Olympian took on veteran Joseph Agbeko (29-5, 22 KOs).
HBO’s telecast began with Matthew Macklin vs. Lamar Russ. It was a good comeback bout for Macklin as the last time he was blitzed by Gennady Golovkin.
Macklin won a hard-fought decision over Russ, with scores of 96-94, 98-92, 97-93.
James Kirkland and Glen Tapia put on a classic back-and-forth war in the second fight of the evening.
Tapia had too much heart and probably took a few too many punches, and Kirkland to his credit looked vintage.
The official end came in Round 6, when referee Steve Smoger stepped in to stop the bout and save Tapia from receiving any more punishment.
In HBO’s main event Guillermo Rigondeaux boxed beautifully and dominated Joseph Agbeko en-route to a one-sided 12-round decision.
Rigondeaux out landed, out maneuvered and of course out boxed Agbeko over the 12-round matchup.
Agbeko’s corner—which included a new trainer in Roger Mayweather—implored him to simply throw punches. But, it was obvious from the very beginning that Agbeko did not want to risk getting hit and El Chacal’s speed was too much to handle.
The most exciting back-and-forth action involving Guillermo Rigondeaux was certainly the post-fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman.
— HBOboxing (@HBOboxing) December 8, 2013
Rigondeaux was candid in saying that Nonito Donaire was traumatized after the beating he gave him and that Vasyl Lomachenko could step up and get beat as well.
It will be interesting to see if Donaire, Lomachenko or someone else takes on Rigondeaux next.