Time to face the ‘Real Jackal’
By Gav Duthie: Cuban artist Guillermo Rigondeaux 16-0 (10) must realize that time is not on his side as he approaches a pivotal point in his career. Undoubtedly one of boxing biggest talents there is a concern that Rigo will not be allowed to fulfil that potential. Roc Nation is the latest in a long list of promoters who have managed Rigo, but at 35 years old will he ever get his career defining fight.
His treatment is an embarrassment to the sport. Last year the Super Bantamweight division was mouth watering with Leo Santa Cruz WBC, Guillermo Rigondeaux WBA Super and WBO, Scott Quigg WBA regular and Carl Frampton IBF all in contention for big unification fights. Now the champions are Hugo Ruiz WBC, Carl Frampton WBA and IBF and Nonito Donaire WBO.
Rigo doesn’t even have a belt despite never losing in the ring. It is now a much poorer list of champions as Santa Cruz ran up to 126, Donaire ran back down and Ruiz having the WBC is just as shambolic as was Julio Ceja before him. How Rigo hasn’t had another big fight since Donaire and the embarrassment at his treatment as a champion is the topic of this discussion.
Rigo next fights on March 12 in the UK on the undercard of WBO lightweight title fight between Terry Flanagan and Derry Matthews. He faces British champion James ‘Jazza’ Dickens 21-1 (6) whose only loss is to the talented Kid Galahad 14-0 (9). This should be an easy win for Rigo and he should be headlining Vegas as opposed to undercards in Manchester but this is not the reality. He is one of the most avoided fighters in boxing history but at least Roc Nation are trying to keep him busy. The once unified WBA and WBO holder is no longer a world champion but at his stage in his career he just needs big fights, not titles.
The Jackal v The Jackal (El Chacal)
Hopefully the unification fight between Carl Frampton 21-0 (14) and Scott Quigg 31-1-2 (23) where Carl won by split decision will help Rigo as he is mandatory to Frampton for the WBA. Pre the Quigg fight Frampton said he wanted Rigo but when asked about his plans after he seemed to be leaning towards featherweight champion Leo Santa Cruz.
— Frank Warren (@frankwarren_tv) March 1, 2016
Straight after the fight on Saturday he took to twitter to let the world know he would fight both.
“Just so #FramptonQuigg know. I still want to fight both of you. SO STOP THINKING ABOUT A REMATCH. FIGHT ME FIRST”.
After receiving little response he issued this challenge to either Quigg or Frampton.
“Time to fight the real Jackal”.
After Frampton talked up a possible bout with Leo Santa Cruz Rigo responded with the following.
“As far as i knew there was a huge difference between #IrishWarriors and #LeoSantaCruz. Apparently I was wrong. 4d record. I want to fight”.
Will he ever get the fight he craves?
Risk v reward
As always with boxing its a case of risk v reward in fighting Rigondeaux. There isn’t a huge amount of money on the table because he isn’t network or PPV friendly and there is a high probability he will beat you. Promoters don’t want to know, Haymon used negotiations for a Santa Cruz-Rigo unification bout to steal Santa Cruz away from Golden Boy to avoid the contest. Barry McGuigan has said Rigo is not popular enough and Eddie Hearn talked about a Frampton-Quigg rematch pre fight rather than face him. The American TV networks aren’t interested. He has a chance in the UK if he impresses next week but he will need to prove that people are interested and don’t find him boring.
First of all there is Jazza Dickens. If Jay-Z at Roc Nation promotions wants to make a name for himself in boxing promotion he might need to dig deep to get a big fight. Failing that Rigo’s only option is to stay busy and fight whoever is willing in his final years. If he can get Frampton, Quigg or Santa Cruz then great but I won’t hold my breath. If its the likes of Hugo Ruiz and Donaire 2 then we will have to accept that and always wonder how good he really was.
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