Rigondeaux returns to face Flores on Ward vs. Kovalev Undercard
By: Eric Lunger
While the boxing world has been abuzz this week over the looming heavyweight clash between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, news broke in the super bantamweight division as Main Events announced that Guillermo Rigondeaux will face Moises Flores on the Ward vs. Kovalev II undercard.
Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs), the highly decorated Cuban amateur and undefeated professional, has become something of a white whale for hardcore boxing fans. He was last seen in action in Cardiff, Wales, in July of 2016, when the Miami based southpaw stopped James “Jazza” Dickens in two rounds with a blistering overhand left, breaking Dicken’s jaw.
Rigondeaux has faced difficulties in getting opponents to fight him. He has been criticized for being boring and risk-averse, yet he is such a talented boxer (Freddie Roach said he was the best defensive fighter that he’d ever seen) that few want to risk a bout against him. To be blunt, “Rigo” doesn’t pull much money in terms of broadcast revenue, and he will probably beat you.
Stung by this type of criticism, Rigondeaux is ready to make a statement on what could be the biggest boxing stage of the summer, if not the year. “It’s going to be a chance to show HBO what they want to see,” Rigondeaux said via a Main Events press release…
“Some say I’m not exciting but it’s not my fault that once my opponents feel my power, they start running and stop throwing punches. Regardless of that, I’m going to give them what they want. I will be standing in the middle of the ring toe-to-toe and putting on a show for the fans.”
That sounds like a fighter who knows this could be his last chance to win over those fans skeptical of his overly defensive style. For his part, Flores (25-0, 17 KOs) is excited to have the opportunity to face Rigondeaux: “I never stopped my preparations from the original date and look forward to making the Mexican fans proud when I defeat the great Rigondeaux.” A win for Flores against the Ring magazine #7 Pound-for-Pound would certainly put Flores on the map, and would be another great victory in the storied annals of Mexican boxing. Hailing from Guadalajara, Flores has had few high profile bouts in the US. The bright lights of an HBO pay-per-view will be a new experience for him, but expect nothing but professionalism from the tough Mexican fighter.
I am excited to see Rigondeaux back in the ring, and Main Events and Roc Nation Sports are putting together a dynamite card for June 17. For the record, I love watching Rigondeaux box. His combination of defensive head movement, footwork, and blazing hand speed is, simply, mesmerizing. To see him face off against a talented and hard-nosed Mexican champion is going to be a real treat.