Rigondeaux wins on Pacquiao-Margarito undercard

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux, fighting for only the seventh time as a pro, went the distance Saturday night before taking a split decision over Ricardo Cordoba in a junior featherweight fight.

Rigondeaux, who defected from Cuba last year, fought cautiously but well enough to win on two of the ringside scorecards. Rigondeaux won 117-109 and 114-112, while the third judge had Cordoba ahead 114-112.

Rigondeaux knocked down Cordoba in the fourth round with a right hand, but fought cautiously after taking a count himself in the sixth round after a right hand by the Panamanian. The fight drew boos from the crowd at Cowboys Stadium eager for the main event of Manny Paquiao and Antonio Margarito.

The 29-year-old Rigondeaux turned pro only after defecting but had hundreds of amateur bouts and won Olympic gold medals in 2000 and 2004. A slick southpaw, he controlled the fight from the outside to take the interim WBA junior featherweight title.

”I thought I won every round,” Rigondeaux said. ”It was an easy fight.”

In a welterweight fight, Mike Jones of Philadelphia remained undefeated with a majority decision over Jesus Soto-Karass of Mexico.

Jones appeared to be on the verge of stopping Soto-Karass in the second round, but appeared to punch himself out and the fight went the distance. Jones won 97-93 and 95-94 on two scorecards, while the third judge had it 94-94.

In another bout, Brandon Rios remained unbeaten by stopping Omri Lowther in the fifth round of their scheduled 10-round super lightweight fight.

Rios, who improved to 26-0-1, scored his 19th knockout behind a relentless left hook that wore down Lowther, who fell to 14-3. Rios was a late addition to the card after former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik pulled out of his fight with a back injury.

The fight was finally stopped at 2:17 of the fifth round with Lowther taking a flurry of punches against the ropes.