THE undercard of the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao was little bit like a rainy walk to your favourite pub.

The big names featured cruised to victory as Vasyl Lomachenko and Leo Santa Cruz did their jobs with typical efficiency, but the one-sided victories did little to thrill the fans thirsty for the main event.

Lomachenko retained his WBO featherweight title when he halted a thoroughly outclassed Gamalier Rodriguez in the ninth round. The Ukrainian master, now 4-1 (2), took his time to get going but by round three was in his groove, hurling hurtful and accurate blasts to the body. Rodriguez bravely hauled himself off the canvas several times before going down for the count in the ninth round.

Santa Cruz – the WBC super-bantamweight boss – bossed the durable Jose Cayetano over 10 sessions. Implored to step up the pressure midway through the bout, Santa Cruz struggled to cut off the ring but was in no danger and won a landslide decision.

“I’m very excited about the main event,” said Santa Cruz. And so are we. Hopefully the journey will be worth it.