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Aficianado

Rigondeaux cruises in pro debut

22
May

Guillermo Rigondeaux won his pro debut in a virtual walk-over on the undercard of Richard Gutierrez-Antwone Smith on Friday night in Miami.

The two-time Olympic champion from Cuba stopped a petrified Juan Noriega at 1:09 of the third round of a scheduled four-round junior featherweight bout.

Noriega, who lost two weeks ago and took this fight on short notice, had no business in the ring with a fighter of Rigondeaux's ability.

The Danville, Ark., resident was so frightened and ineffectual that he landed only two punches in two-plus rounds. He also took many hard punches to the head, prompting the referee to stop the fight.

Rigondeaux, fighting for the first time in almost two years, put Noriega (3-3) down in the first round.

In the main event, Smith (16-1-1, nine KOs) surived a bad cut over his left eye to upset junior middleweight contender Gutierrez (24-3-1, 14 KOs) by a unanimous 10-round decision.

In an earlier bout, Rigondeaux's fellow Cuban defector, Erislandy Lara (6-0, four KOs) stopped Edwin Vasquez (22-14-2, eight KOs) at 1:13 of the fourth round of a scheduled eight-round junior middleweight bout.

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