Rigondeaux is Back

Former world champion and two time Olympic Gold Medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-1, 11KOs) will make his return to the ring on January 13 under the PBC banner. The announcement came today per BoxingScene.com

“Former world champion and pound-for-pound contender Guillermo Rigondeaux will return to action against Mexico’s Giovanni Delgado in an eight-round match on Premier Boxing Champions Prelims live on FS1 and FOX Deportes on Sunday, January 13 from the Microsoft Theatre at L.A. Live in Los Angeles.

Original News Source: https://www.boxingscene.com/rigondeaux-vs-delgado-set-january-13-pbc-card-on-fs1–135099

The last time fans saw Rigondeaux was when he faced Vasyl Lomachenko (12-1, 9KOs) on December of 2017. The Cuban boxer essentially quit before the start of the seventh round, stating a left hand injury he sustained in the second round as the reason for his decision. He hasn’t fought since.
The Cuban boxer received heavy criticism for refusing to fight on. Whether or not the hand injury was a factor, you can’t take away from the fact that Rigondeaux wasn’t himself in that fight. Prior to the bout he had racked up a perfect 17-0 record with 11 knockouts. He already had hype surrounding him because of his two Olympic Gold Medals but the hype only grew when he outpointed the heavily favored Nonito Donaire in 2013.

Guillermo’s fights were never action packed wars but they were a beautiful demonstration of the sweet science. For fans that enjoy pure technical boxing, Rigondeaux was a joy to watch. At some point fans started to demand he face Lomachenko. Unfortunately, both fighters differed in weight divisions so the dream fight started to drift away. That was until Rigondeaux decided to move up in weight to challenge the Ukrainian phenom.

Rigondeaux moved up by nearly eight pounds and the added mass surely had an adverse effect on his performance. He looked stunning in his previous bouts, but against Lomachenko he didn’t look like his normal self. Even Lomachenko admitted that a win against a ballooned up Rigondeaux wasn’t as fulfilling as it could have been. That’s being honest for you.

But even with the apparent disadvantages that he had against Lomachenko fans still criticize Rigondeaux. Even if he looks stunning against Giovanni Delgado, there will always be a sector of fans that will hold that poor performance against him. I personally won’t hold it against him. Yes, he accepted the fight but that doesn’t erase the apparent disadvantages. There’s an A-Side and then there’s a B-Side. Guillermo was the B-Side and had to oblige to the A-Sides demands if he wanted the fight.

Guillermo Rigondeaux is 38 years old and of course that statistic will be a major talking pointing heading into his comeback fight. Can he still pull the trigger at an age where most boxers are facing the decline of their skills or will age catch up to him? Better yet, will the reality of having lost to Lomachenko play a factor in his mentality? It’ll be interesting to see where Rigondeaux is after more than a year off from boxing. But I’m excited to see the former world champion back in action.

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