Guillermo Rigondeaux’s journey back to a super bantamweight world title made a stop in Las Vegas where he picked up another knockout win.
On the opening bout of a PBC on Fox card from the Mandalay Bay, Rigondeaux scored a vicious left hook to the chin of Julio Ceja at the end of the eighth round. The fight was a title eliminator for the WBC super bantamweight championship, meaning Rigondeaux is now the mandatory challenger for the belt.
The fight was a close-quarters brawl that saw both men get hit hard with short-range power shots throughout the fight. After Rigondeaux took the first round to repeatedly land the hook upstairs, Ceja took the next few rounds to outland a somewhat immobile Rigondeaux in the center of the ring.
While Rigondeaux was never out of the fight, he did get buzzed at the end of the sixth round thanks to a combination landed by Ceja. The bout also featured plenty of low blows and the referee decided to do something about in the eighth round, docking a point from both fighters each. But soon after, Rigondeaux hit that deciding left hook that won the fight. Ceja did manage to get back up but the referee waived off the count and stopped the fight.
Rigondeaux will have to wait a while longer before getting his opportunity at the WBC title. Current WBC champion Rey Vargas is scheduled to face interim titlist Tomoki Kameda on July 13 on a DAZN card in Carson, California.
This is Rigondeaux’s second fight this year after a 2017 loss to then-super featherweight champion Vasiliy Lomachenko. Rigondeaux not only lost that fight, but also lost his WBA super bantamweight title shorty thereafter, making the way for Daniel Roman to be the sole WBA world champion at 122 pounds. After being out of the ring for more than a year, Rigondeaux signed with PBC and came back this past January with a first-round knockout win over Giovanni Delgado.