Former WBC Super-welterweight champion Jermell Charlo made short work of Mexico’s Jorge Cota who looked totally lost with how to deal with the speed and power of the Texan. Cota was knocked out in the 3rd round by a right-hand that he probably didn’t need to take had referee Jay Nady realised just how badly hurt Cota was from a hard right hook knockdown moments earlier.
Cota, who had lost in 4 rounds to Erickson Lubin in 2017, had looked a solid, tough, and capable fighter in the first 26 fights of his pro career, losing only to Marco Antonio Rubio up at middleweight, but he was completely outclassed against Charlo. His own punches seemed to lack any effect on Charlo even though he had 25 stoppages in the 28 wins he had accumulated in his pro career.
Perhaps Charlo is even better than he looks, but somehow I thought Cota was going to make a better fight of it and push his opponent. Harrison was ringside and congratulated Charlo for his performance before going on to say how he was in Charlo’s head and thus will never lose to him. Their rematch should happen later this year.
Cuban defensive wizard Guillermo Rigondeaux turned slugger in the second fight of his comeback from the only loss of his career to P4P No1 Vasiliy Lomachenko when he faced tough Mexican Julio Ceja in a WBC final eliminator on the Charlo vs Cota bill at The Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The 38-year-old Rigondeaux was in a tough fight when he landed a crunching left hook out of his southpaw stance in the 8th round. Referee Russell Mora counted Ceja out on his feet, in what at first seemed like a hasty decision, but watch carefully and Ceja gives a very half-hearted complaint to the stoppage, leading one to believe he was a lot more hurt than we first thought.
Rigondeaux was hurt himself several times from Ceja’s uppercuts and hooks throughout the fight, and this change of style may need a rethink because he took more punches in this fight than in all his previous 20 outings since turning pro in 2009. At this age in the 122lb division, fighting phone booth wars may not be a wise decision.
The fight was a thriller, easily Rigondeaux’s most entertaining show, and now he should get a crack at champion Ray Vargas.