Photo by Al Bello
Vasyl Lomachenko (4-1, 2 KOs) boxed calmly and analyzed Gamalier Rodriguez (25-3-3, 17 KOs) before stopping him in Round 9 to successfully defend his WBO Featherweight title at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lomachenko, 27, a Ukrainian fighter who is recognized as one of the best amateur boxers ever, displayed his experience by clamly figuring his opponent out in the early rounds.
“In the first couple rounds, I was just feeling him out and seeing what he had to offer, and then did what I had to do,” said a calm but effective Lomachenko.
Indeed, Lomachenko began unleashing combinations in Round 4, but instead of responding with combinations of his own, Rodriguez responded with low blows.
Rodriguez was deducted a point in Rounds 5 and 8 for his low blows, but it didn’t have much of an effect on the fight as Lomachenko was completely outclassing Rodriguez.
Lomachenko scored a knockdown with a straight left hand to the solar plexus in Round 8 before knocking Rodriguez down again with a left hand in Round 9.
Rodriguez, conscious of his being outclass, did not get up to continue fighting.
HBO’s Max Kellerman asked Lomachenko if WBA Featherweight champion Nicholas Walters is next for Lomachenko, but instead of responding directly, Lomachenko conceded that he needs to fight the best in order to be considered the best.