ALLENTOWN, PA. — In the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING co-main event, 39-year old Guillermo Rigondeaux moved down in weight to win a world title in a second-division, capturing the vacant WBA Bantamweight World Title with a split-decision win against former champion Liborio Solís. Rigondeaux became the oldest boxer to win the world title at 118 pounds. The scores were 116-111 and 115-112 in favor of Rigondeaux with the third judge giving the fight to Solis, 115-112.
Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KOs), a former unified 122-pound world champion and perennial member of the pound-for-pound list, scored an official knockdown in the seventh round as he battered Solis against the ropes.
"Liborio is an excellent fighter, but I saw the opportunity to strike and scored the knockdown," said Rigondeaux. "He gave me a run for my money. It was a competitive fight, congratulations to him for keeping up in the ring, but everyone knows the better fighter got the win."
Solis got off to a hot start landing 28 punches in round one, but only 31 for the last 11 rounds, while Rigondeaux (who landed 10 in round one) landed 68 punches in the last 11.
"I hurt him in the first round and that's what caused him to run," said Solis. "I'd like a rematch because I thought I got the better of him tonight. Going backwards is no way to win a vacant title. I put the majority of the pressure on him. I'm not going to argue with the judges, but I thought I did enough to win."
"Like I've showed everyone before, I can fight right in the middle of the ring," said Rigondeaux. "I tried that in the first round, but after that round, Ronnie Shields told me to show him some boxing and cut the ring off."
Panama's Solís (30-6-1, 14 KOs), making his U.S. debut, was knocked down for the fifth time in his career.
"The punch surprised me on the knockdown, but I wasn't hurt," said Solis. "I was ready to fight immediately right after."
After a successful bantamweight debut, Rigondeaux has his sights set on matchups against the top 118-pounders.
"I'm available for anyone who wants to get in the ring," said Rigondeaux. "Who do the fans want to see me fight? I'm ready for any fighter. Now that I'm at my weight, let's go hunting."