In a rather crass display of greed, based on the knowledge that the average consumer only cares about the main event, the "Mayweather vs. Pacquiao" undercard, which took place on Sat. night (May 2, 2015) in Las Vegas, Nevada, featured a pair of mismatched "showcase fights," one of which was a superior spectacle to the other.
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The co-main saw Leo Santa Cruz, a consensus top-5 super bantamweight, face Jose Cayetano, who's lost two of his last four fights and isn't even in the top 100 at the weight. Santa Cruz (30-0-1, 17 KO) was his usual hyperactive self, firing off a huge number of punches to the head and body. To his credit, Cayetano (17-4, 8 KO) did manage to land a few good shots along the way, but never managed to back the young prospect off or keep his back off of the ropes.
That said, Santa Cruz was never able to faze his opponent despite the massive and obvious skill gap. Despite landing nearly five hundred punches, not once did he put Cayetano on rubber legs or even rough up his face. It turned an incredibly active fight into a slog with its lack of drama.
Santa Cruz walked away with a sweep on all three cards, declaring his intent to finally face a real opponent in Abner Mares his next time out. We can hope.
In the opening attraction, Ukrainian amateur legend Vasyl Lomachenko lived up to expectations by utterly steamrolling Puerto Rican challenger Gamalier Rodriguez, scoring a pair of knockdowns on his way to a ninth-round stoppage.
Lomachenko (4-1, 2 KO) started off rather slowly, feeling out the challenger during the opening two rounds as the latter targeted the body. In the third round, he opened up with his jab and, by the time the bell of the fourth round sounded, was in total control. Rodriguez (25-3-3, 17 KO)) found himself buried in a deluge of pinpoint jabs, length combinations, and vicious body shots that produced a knockdown in the seventh round.
Rodriguez's offensive output essentially degenerated into the occasional body shot with enough low blows mixed in tohooks forced Rod earn two separate point deductions. Early in the ninth round, a trio of brutal right hooks convinced Rodriguez to take a knee and stay there for the entirety of the 10-count.
According to fight stats, Lomachenko outlanded Rodriguez 4-to-1.
Jim Gray floated the idea of a clash with top featherweight Nicholas Walters for Lomachenko's next fight and, while the Ukrainian didn't explicitly support the idea, did reaffirm his desire to continue challenging the division's elite.
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