The HBO pay-per-view broadcast of Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley kicked off with a bout between Guillermo Rigondeaux and Teon Kennedy. Rigondeaux came into the bout as a world champion despite only nine professional fights, something he was able to do thanks to being one of the best amateur boxers in history and the possession of two Olympic gold medals.
Kennedy didn't enter with the same credentials and the difference in class was clear very quickly.
Rigondeaux landed a beautiful hard left hand that staggered Kennedy and then followed Kennedy to the ropes, opening up with some big shots that eventually forced Kennedy's glove to touch the canvas for a knockdown just 90 seconds into the bout. Kennedy was able to survive the round but there was not much reason for optimism.
Round two saw a hard left hand again land for Rigondeaux as Kennedy stumbled backward and fell to the canvas. Again, he was able to rise to his feet. And, again, Rigondeaux landed a combination and Kennedy hit the floor. He didn't seem to be badly hurt by any of the knockdowns but was getting cracked by pinpoint power punches from a better fighter and knocked to the ground.
Kennedy lost round three as well, but got a bit of a moral victory by managing to not get knocked down in the round. No such moral victory in round four, where once again Kennedy ended up on the canvas after a left hand.
Round five would see the fifth and final knockdown as another left hand sent him to the canvas and referee Russell Mora had seen enough.
Rigondeaux is a legitimate fighter and his future is bright. He landed hard shots, but did show a bit of a willingness to let an opponent stick around longer than necessary. That being said, he's a handful for anyone and a legit champion.