Guillermo Rigondeaux is one of the best boxers in the planet, if not the best. However, because of his “fan-unfriendly” fighting style, only a select few seem to care and only a handful care to watch him fight. That’s the reason why 2016 was supposed to a big year for him. At 35, he is not getting any younger and we may never see him realize his business potential as an elite boxer.
Known as one of the best amateur fighters of All-time, Rigo amassed an amateur record of 463-12 while winning seven Cuban National boxing title and back to back Olympic Gold Medals in 2000 and 2004. As a pro, he is 16-0 with 10 KOs. He became a world champion in his 9th professional bout and in 2013, he outclassed 2012 BWAA Fighter of The Year Nonito Donaire to unify the super bantamweight belts and become lineal champion:
But instead of being catapulted to superstardom with that victory, he was further pushed to obscurity as HBO thought his style was “too boring” to air on TV. That “boring” sentiment was share by his erstwhile promoter, Bob Arum who said this after the Donaire bout:
“He has a lot of power and a lot of skill, but running the way he does makes it into a not watchable fight.”
Since beating Bonito Donaire , Rigondeaux has fought just four times. Twice he fought overseas- once in Macau and another in Japan. Last November, the WBO and WBA took turns in stripping Rigo of his titles due to inactivity. Later that month, Rigondeaux resurfaced in Las Vegas and fought in the Cotto-Canelo undercard where he won an easy 10 round decision over Drian Francisco. Last month, it was announced that Rigondeaux will be fighting British champion Jazza Dickens in Liverpool on March 12:
That bout was seen as a good sign not only because it was the fastest turnaround time between two fights for Rigo since 2010 but because it would have introduced him to the British audience. The latter was important because British superstar Carl Frampton was immediately ordered by the WBA to defend his super bantamweight title against Rigo by July 2016. Frampton would be his biggest foe since Donaire and it was one that could have defined his career. But then Rigondeaux’s suddenly disappeared. Said promoter Frank Warren:
“Strangely, Rigondeaux left Moscow at a time when both the Application Centre and Consulate were still closed,” Warren said in a statement. “He has yet to explain to (Rigondeaux promoter) Roc Nation Sports, who are as much in the dark as Queensberry Promotions, as to how and why he has arrived in the USA and why he was in possession of his passport which should, as is standard protocol, have been presented to the Visa Application Centre. We are all extremely disappointed by the whole situation as Rigondeaux will not appear this Saturday and Dickens will not get the chance, that he has trained so hard for, to fight the world’s best super bantamweight in front of his own fans.?
According to Queensberry Promotions, the representatives of Jazza Dickens, Guillermo Rigondeaux boarded a flight to Miami on Monday and arrived in the US on Tuesday afternoon. QP Promotions added that prior to his departure, Rigondeaux was having “visa problems” but could not confirm that his departure was a result of that. Although the March 12 main event between Terry Flanagan and Derry Mathews will go on as expected, Rigo is off the card and most probably off everyone’s radar once again. Question is: Will the public still be willing to wait for him again? Or has he blown his last chance to endear himself to the fans?