The semi-main event Saturday underneath Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao featured super bantamweight champion Leo Santa Cruz of Lincoln Heights taking on Jose Cayetano of Tijuana in a non-title fight in the featherweight division.
Even though Santa Cruz was moving up in weight, he figured to have an easy time of it as Cayetano (17-4) is not in his class. Santa Cruz (30-0-1) did in the sense that he won big on the scorecards – he won by three scores of 100-90. But fans seemed a bit restless that he could not stop Cayetano inside the distance.
There were a few boos.
Vasyl Lomachenko, a highly decorated amateur who won gold medals in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, retained his featherweight world title with a ninth-round knockout of Gamalier Rodriguez of Puerto Rico on the undercard of Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao on Saturday night at MGM Grand. Referee Robert Byrd counted out Rodriguez at 50 seconds of the round.
Lomachenko, of the Ukraine, won the gold medal in the featherweight division in the 2008 Beijing Games and the gold medal in the 2012 London Games.
Lomachenko was winning by scores of 80-69, 78-71 and 79-70 at the time of the knockout.
Fans would love to see Lomachenko in a title-unfication bout with fellow champion Nicholas Walters, who is an absolute beast.
“Anyone in my weight division with a title,” Lomachenko said when asked who’s next. “That’s who I want to fight. I want to fight all the champions.”
Lomachenko, 27, won his title in just his third pro fight. He is 4-1 with two knockouts.
Rodriguez is now 25-3-3.