The eagerly-anticipated UK debut of undefeated pound-for-pound Cuban boxing superstar Guillermo Rigondeaux ended swiftly on Saturday night (16 July) as he easily retained his WBA super-bantamweight belt with an early TKO victory over James 'Jazza' Dickens at Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff. Fans hoping to see the powerful two-time Olympic gold medalist and former amateur sensation subjected to a rigorous examination of his talents on these shores were left disappointed when a crushing overhand left caused his opponent to wisely withdraw at the end of the second round, as he had suffered a fractured jaw.
Such a frustratingly early end to the fight led to inevitable calls for a rematch, with promoter Frank Warren subsequently confirming plans to bring Rigondeaux back on 17 September. His initial visit in March was eventually cancelled due to visa issues.
"Dickens said before the fight I was an old man, but I ripped his jaw out," he said after his 17th consecutive professional victory.
"All those guys that want their jaws ripped out, I'm here. Not 100 of those guys add up to one of me. I want hard fights. People make it boring once they feel my power.
"I'm here to face everyone. I want to give the fans what they want those guys need to stop running. Step in the ring and see – people make it boring because they don't throw a punch. I'm not the best fighter in the world, but I'm the most complete. I'm ready to stand in the middle of the ring with everyone, no more running around."
In the night's other main event, Terry Flanagan provided the third successful defence of his WBO lightweight crown by outpointing durable veteran Mzonke Fana. The 42-year-old challenger was knocked down in the fourth round but recovered to make the final bell before losing 120-106 on all three judges' scorecards.
The slightly underwhelming champion, who has thus far been frustrated in his pursuit of an all-Manchester showdown with Anthony Crolla, received a nasty cut under his right eye following a clash of heads but it did not seem to cause any vision problems.
Gary Lockett-trained home favourite Liam Williams also kept hold of his Commonwealth and British super-welterweight straps with an 11th-round knockout of previously unbeaten rival Gary Corcoran. There were also wins on the undercard for WBO European welterweight champion Bradley Skeete, Tommy Langford and Northern Ireland's Jamie Conlan.
The latter pair has been named by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBoC) as mandatory challengers for Chris Eubank Jr and Kal Yafai.