Rigondeaux beats Noriega in debut

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. -- Two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux won his professional debut with a third-round technical knockout over Juan Noriega on Friday night.

Rigondeaux, who defected from Cuba in February, was not as busy with his punches but still wore down Noriega in their junior featherweight bout at the Fontainebleau Hotel and Resort.

In fact, referee Sam Burgos stopped the fight at 1:09 of the third round after Rigondeaux landed a right to the head without any follow-up shots. Noriega, of Danville, Ark., didn't dispute Burgos' call.

"Everything turned out fine," Rigondeaux said. "My shots landed exactly where I wanted them.

Rigondeaux, 28, immediately showed his dominance when he dropped Noriega with a right to the head 30 seconds into the bout for the fight's only knockdown.

Rigondeaux carefully measured his punches and the bout had its moments of inaction.

"I didn't rush my shots but I believe they were effective," Rigondeaux said. "It was a brief fight and there were no injuries. Hopefully I can fight again very soon."

Rigondeaux weighed 122 pounds, two more than Noriega.

An Olympic champion in 2000 and 2004, Rigondeaux, 28, left Cuba with Yudel Johnson and Yordanis Despaigne, teammates on the country's amateur team. Johnson and Despaigne also fought their first professional bouts Friday night.

Johnson barely broke a sweat, scoring a first-round knockout over Greg Weathers of Louisville. Johnson dropped Weathers with a left to the head soon after the opening bell and didn't let up his attack and floored Weathers with a right-left combination to the head.

Weathers (3-1) failed to shake off the knockdown's effects and Burgos stopped the middleweight fight at 52 seconds.