By Jim Dower: The World Boxing Association hasn’t made a formal announcement about Guillermo Rigondeaux’s status about whether they’ve stripped him of his WBA super bantamweight title or not, but he’s no longer listed as their champion in their latest rankings.
It was believed that Rigondeaux (17-1, 11 KOs) would stripped of his WBA Super World 122 lb. title if he lost his fight with WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko (10-1, 8 KOs) last month on December 9th, and it appears that is what has happened. Rigondeaux was defending his WBA super bantamweight title though, as he moved up in weight to face Lomachenko at 130 for his WBO super featherweight belt.
Rigondeaux lost the fight by a 6th round stoppage after he retired on his stool after round 6. Never the less, it seems that the WBA has removed Rigondeaux as their WBA Super World super bantamweight champion. The WBA still has WBA World super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman as a belt holder for the 122-lb. division, but Rigondeaux is nowhere to be seen. He’s not listed in their top 15 at all.
Here is the WBA’s rankings for the super bantamweight:
WBA champion: Daniel Roman
1. Moises Flores – WBA super bantamweight interim champion
2 Tomoki Kameda
3 Emanuel Navarrete
4 Evgeny Gradovich
5 Oleksandr Yegorov
6 Diego de la Hoya
7 Gamal Yafai
8 Rico Ramos
9 Yusaku Kuga
10 Belmar Preciado
11 Ryo Matsumoto
12 Hidenori Otake
13 Edixon Perez
14 Jhony Moreno
15 Alexander Mejia
If this isn’t a mistake on the WBA’s website, then it suggests that the 37-year-old Rigondeaux will have a lot of hard work ahead of him to get back to the top of the rankings with the sanctioning body for him to get a title shot. Rigondeaux losing his WBA title outside of the ring would be bad, but being delisted from the top 15 rankings. It might take Rigondeaux years to get ranked high enough for a mandatory title shot against WBA champion Daniel Roman. It’s highly unlikely that Roman would give a fighter as talented as Rigondeaux a voluntary title shot.
Before Rigondeaux’s loss to Lomachenko, he was widely considered the No.1 fighter in the super bantamweight division by many boxing fans. Further, Rigondeaux was also viewed as the most avoided fighter in the 122-lb. division. As a challenger, it might not be easy for Rigondeaux to get a title shot against one of the champions in the division, because he’s too good for his own good. We’ll have to see if Rigondeaux is given a voluntary title shot against one of the champions. If not, it might be slow going for the 2-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba for him to get rated quickly.
Normally the sanctioning bodies would push a super talented fighter to the top of their listings based on their ability. We’ll see if that’s the case with Rigondeaux. Will Rigondeaux be ignored by the 4 sanctioning bodies despite being viewed as the best fighter in the division? It’s highly likely Rigondeaux would box circles around the WBA’s current super bantamweight champion Daniel Roman if given the chance to fight him.
Rigondeaux said he injured his left hand in the 2nd round of his fight with Lomachenko last month. Rigondeaux says he was unable to use his left hand properly after the 2nd round.
Rigondeaux might be better off going after one of the other champions in the super bantamweight division. If he’s not pushed up the rankings quickly with the WBA, he could age out while waiting for pick up a high enough ranking to get a mandatory title shot.
In other news, the WBA has removed Nathan Cleverly from their top 15 rankings. Cleverly retired recently, but the WBA was a little slow in removing him from their top 15 rankings.
Joe Fournier (8-0, 8 KOs) is listed at No.11 with the WBA at light heavyweight.