Rigondeaux: ‘I like to frustrate all these little boxers’
By Max Schramm: Guillermo ‘The Jackal’ Rigondeaux (20-2, 13 KOs) says he had an off night, but he plans on continuing his career following his 12 round split decision defeat at the hands of WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero (31-4, 21 KOs) last Saturday night at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
The 40-year-old Rigondeaux moved like a fighter half his age in using nonstop movement to dramatically limit the normally high punch output of WBO 118-lb champion Casimero to a trickle.
In doing so, Rigondeaux failed to throw enough punches to get the victory in his title challenge against Casimero on SHOWTIME. The judges scored the fight for Casimero 116-112, 117-111, and 115-113 for Rigondeaux.
It was a much different performance from Rigondeaux than we’d seen from him in his past three fights against Liborio Solia, Julio Ceja, and Giovanni Delgado. Rigondeaux looked overly cautious from the get-go, failing to throw enough punches to win rounds conclusively.
Many boxing fans believe the fight was there to be won for Rigondeaux if he had just let his hands go, but he appeared tentative after getting a taste of Casimero’s power early on.
A three-division world champion, Casimero (31-4, 21 KOs) made his second successful title defense at 118-pounds, earning a career-best victory over the longtime 122-pound champion Rigondeaux (20-2, 13 KOs), who moved down to bantamweight in 2020.
Rigondeaux says he had an “off night
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Today was my bad night. I had an off night,” said Rigondeaux to Fighthype on his performance against Casimero.
“My legs are still really well, but I should have thrown a few more punches maybe, that’s all.
“Absolutely,” said Rigondeaux when asked if he’s going to continue fighting. “I like to frustrate all these little boxers.
“Wherever I’m ready, go one more,’ said Rigondeaux on whether he would be interested in fighting some of the top guys at 122.
“A little rest and spend some family time. We had a good fight; nobody got hurt, which is best,” said Rigondeaux.
After this performance, it might be a while before Rigondeaux is put in the main event on Showtime or one of the other networks. The former two-division world champion is running out of time with his career, and he can’t afford to be putting in these kinds of poor performances at his age.
Had Rigondeaux won, he would have had the opportunity to face 118-lb champions Naoya ‘Monster’ Inoue or Nonito Donaire in lucrative unification fights.
With the Rigondeaux lost to Casimero, it could be over for him in world title shots at 118. For Rigondeaux to get another title shot, it might take two to three years, and he doesn’t have that kind of time.
“I thought Rigo won,” said WBA interim lightweight champion Rolando ‘Rolly’ Romero to Fighthype when asked how he saw Rigondeaux’s fight with Casimero.
As you can see, some people believe Rigondeaux did enough to win last Saturday. Besides Rolly Rommer, WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford also believes Rigondeaux deserved to win.
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