A roundup of the past week's notable boxing results from around the world:
Saturday at New York
Vasiliy Lomachenko TKO6 Guillermo Rigondeaux -- Full Recap
Retains a junior lightweight title
Records: Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs); Rigondeaux (17-1, 11 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: On paper, it was a fantasy fight between two of the greatest amateurs in boxing history -- the first match ever between two-time Olympic gold medalists -- and two of today's elite pound-for-for-pound best. In reality, it was an epic mismatch as Lomachenko toyed with the older, smaller Rigondeaux in the much-anticipated Top Rank ESPN main event. As it turned out, junior featherweight titleholder Rigondeaux, who moved up two weight classes, displayed none of the otherworldly skills so many have praised him for. Instead, he turned defensive almost immediately by holding Lomachenko for dear life. Lomachenko, 29, of Ukraine, would have none of it and forcefully broke the relentless clinching and retained his title for the fourth time in one of his easiest fights. He clowned fellow southpaw Rigondeaux repeatedly and made him look every bit his 37 years. Rigondeaux was docked a point by referee Steve Willis for the excessive holding in the sixth round and then, after the round, meekly quit on his stool claiming an injured left hand. But top fighters don't quit over a bum hand. It seemed more as like Rigondeaux knew he had no prayer to win so why take a beating?
Conlan wins via unanimous decision
In a bout that went the distance, Michael Conlan lands 128 punches compared to Luis Fernando Molina's 31, as the two-time Irish Olympian defeats Molina in a one-sided shutout.
Michael Conlan W6 Luis Fernando Molina (7-4-1, 2 KO) -- Full recap
Scores: 60-54 (three times)
Records: Conlan (5-0, 4 KOs); Molina (7-4-1, 2 KO)
Rafael's remarks: Two-time Irish Olympian Conlan, 26, is a raw prospect but had more than enough to take care of the slower, less skillful Molina, 29, of Argentina, who didn't land much and took a whole lot in return. Conlan put the pressure on from the opening bell and relentlessly stalked Molina. He pitched the shutout decision as he went the distance for the first time in his return to the Theater at Madison Square Garden for the first time since he sold out the arena for his pro debut on St. Patrick's Day on March 17.
Diaz emotional after TKO win over Cruz
Christopher Diaz defeats Bryant Cruz by TKO in the third round and tears up explaining how much this win means to him.
Christopher Diaz TKO3 Bryant "Pee Wee" Cruz -- Full recap
Records: Diaz (22-0, 14 KOs); Cruz (18-3, 9 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Diaz, 23, of Puerto Rico, is a very crowd pleasing fighter who did just that against late replacement Cruz, 27, of Port Chester, New York, who stepped in on one week's notice when Casey Ramos pulled out. Diaz had the crowd behind him as he dropped poor Cruz four times in a very impressive performance. He floored Cruz in the first round, twice more in the second round and when he dropped him hard with a right hand in the fourth round referee Harvey Dock stopped it 37 seconds into the round.
Shakur Stevenson TKO2 Oscar Mendoza -- Full recap
Records: Stevenson (4-0, 2 KO); Mendoza (4-3, 2 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Stevenson, a 20-year-old southpaw from Newark, New Jersey, won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics and is one of Top Rank's best prospects. He looked good as he rolled past Mendoza, 26, of Santa Maria, California, landing punches basically at will against an opponent who had nothing to offer. Even though Stevenson never dropped Mendoza he pounded him nonstop until referee Sparkle Lee called off the battering at 1 minute, 38 seconds of the second round.
Saturday at Las Vegas
Miguel "Mickey" Roman TKO9 Orlando Salido -- Full Recap
Records: Roman (58-12, 45 KOs); Salido (44-14-4, 31 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: From the moment it was signed this was expected to be an old fashioned brawl and that's exactly what it was as former four-time, two-division world titleholder Salido, 37, and Mexican countryman Roman, 32, blasted each other toe-to-toe in a contender for fight of the year. While Roman put himself in position for a possible title shot against Miguel Berchelt when he returns from injury, Salido said goodbye. The longtime warrior, who fought to a draw with Francisco Vargas in the incredible 2016 fight of the year, announced his retirement after the fight, ending a brawl-filled 21-year career.
Kenichi Ogawa W12 Tevin Farmer
Wins a vacant junior lightweight title
Scores: 116-112, 115-113 Ogawa, 116-112 Farmer
Records: Ogawa (23-1, 17 KOs); Farmer (25-5-1, 5 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Robbery of the year alert! It is beyond the realm of comprehension how two judges, Max DeLuca and Burt Clements, gave this fight to Ogawa, 29, of Japan, who was boxing in the United States for the first time. Farmer, a 27-year-old southpaw from Philadelphia returning after suffering a gunshot through his hand while being a peacemaker in a domestic dispute, deserved a much better fate as he seemed to easily outbox and outpunch Ogawa. He had a big fifth round against Ogawa and appeared to dominate much of the second half of the bout. It seemed rather easy to score, but if CompuBox is your thing, Farmer dominated there also, landing 158 of 525 punches (30 percent) to Ogawa's 99 of 445 (22 percent). Ogawa extended his winning streak to 15 fights in a row and Farmer saw his 18-fight winning streak come to an undeserved end.
Francisco Vargas Tech Dec. 9 Stephen Smith
Scores: 89-82, 88-83 (twice)
Records: Vargas (24-1-2, 17 KOs); Smith (25-4, 15 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Former junior lightweight titlist Vargas, 32, of Mexico, who was half of the 2015 and 2016 fights of the year, shook off the loss of his title to Miguel Berchelt in January and the terrible cuts he suffered in the fight to return for a solid win against Smith, 32, a former two-time title challenger from England. It was a fan friendly fight -- what Vargas fight isn't? -- but Vargas got the better of him throughout. In the ninth round, an accidental head but left Vargas with a cut on the bridge of his nose and Smith with a horrific left-ear injury. His ear literally split in half and blood gushed out, causing the fight to be stropped and sent to the scorecard for a technical decision. It was one of the most disgusting injuries seen in a ring in a long time.
Saturday at London
Caleb Truax W12 James DeGale -- Full recap
Wins a super middleweight title
Scores: 116-112, 115-112, 114-114
Records: Truax (29-3-2, 18 KOs); DeGale (23-2-1, 14 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: In easily the upset of the year, Truax, 34, of Osseo, Minnesota, who had previously been knocked out by Daniel Jacobs in a one-sided 2012 middleweight title bout, went to DeGale's hometown and beat the fighter regarded by most as No. 1 in the 168-pound division. Few gave Truax a chance to even be competitive much less beat southpaw DeGale, 31, who was making his fourth title defense and boxing for the first time since suffering various injuries in a January title unification draw against Badou Jack. Truax was supposed to be an easy homecoming opponent, but it didn't work out that way. Truax was aggressive, forced DeGale back throughout the fight, beat him up in the fifth round and generally was the boss all the way. He was rightly rewarded with a huge victory.
Lee Selby W12 Eduardo Ramirez -- Full recap
Retains a featherweight title
Scores: 119-109, 118-110, 116-112
Records: Selby (26-1, 9 KOs); Ramirez (20-1-3, 7 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Selby, 30, of Wales, retained his title for the fourth time in easy fashion over southpaw Ramirez, 24, of Mexico, who was not eligible to win the belt. He was overweight, coming in at 128½ pounds, 2½ over the division limit. Ramirez skipped the final news conference trying to make weight and there were questions if the fight would even happen. It did and Ramirez made Selby work hard for the victory. Though the scores were wide Ramirez put in a good effort but not good enough to beat the much more skilled Selby, who now looks forward to facing British rival and mandatory challenger Josh Warrington (26-0, 6 KOs) in the spring.
Friday at Hialeah, Fla.
Jean Pascal TKO6 Ahmed Elbiali
Records: Pascal (32-5-1, 19 KOs); Elbiali (16-1, 13 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Former world champion Jean Pascal, 35, of Montreal, said he would retire following the bout and got a farewell victory against Elbiali, 27, a Miami-based prospect originally from Egypt who was taking on by far his best opponent. It was a terrific action fight as they traded back and forth the whole way, but Pascal had a more varied attack and much more experience in tough moments and it showed. In the sixth round, he unleashed a barrage of punches that had Elbiali reeling and his corner threw in the towel at 2 minutes, 6 seconds. Pascal ended his an excellent 12-year career on a high note.
Luis "King Kong" Ortiz KO2 Daniel Martz
Records: Ortiz (28-0, 24 KOs); Martz (16-6-1, 13 KOs)
Rafael's remarks: Ortiz, a 38-year-old Cuban defector fighting out of Miami, Florida, failed a drug test in September that caused a Nov. 4 world title shot against Deontay Wilder (39-0, 38 KOs) to be canceled. But Ortiz claimed the bad test, his second in three years, was because of blood pressure medication he was taking. The WBC believed his story and he was reinstated and took this tune-up fight against Martz, a 27-year-old punching bag from Clarksburg, West Virginia. Ortiz shook off the rust of a 13-month layoff as he blew out Martz with ease. He dropped Martz, who dropped to 2-4 in his past six fights with each loss coming by knockout, with a body shot in the first round and when Ortiz dropped him again in the second round with a left hand, referee Samuel Burgos to stopped it 43 seconds into the round. After the fight, Wilder, who was ringside, came into the ring and he and Ortiz hammed it up for the FS1 TV cameras. It was all very WWE-like but in the end they vowed to fight each other.