By: Hans Themistode
For much of his career, Guillermo Rigondeaux has been incredibly consistent.
The Cuban native has routinely walked up to the scales and made the super bantamweight limit of 122 pounds. Outside of his failed attempt to move up two weight classes in 2017 against Vasiliy Lomachenko, Rigondeaux has made his name at 122. Yet, no matter how many world titles he congregated, Rigondeaux found it incredibly frustrating to compete in a division where the big fights he craved seldom took place.
In an effort to move his career in the right direction, the 40-year-old decided to move down in weight. In his first trip to the bantamweight division, Rigondeaux defeated Liborio Solis via split decision in February of 2020 to win the vacant WBA “Regular” crown. Now, he plans on adding more gold when he takes on WBO titlist, John Riel Casimero. The two are slated to face off in the main event slot on August 14th at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
While fighting at 118 pounds is still somewhat foreign territory, Rigondeaux explains that he simply got tired of waiting for someone to have the courage to face him in his more natural weight class.
“Nobody wanted to fight me at 122,” said Rigondeaux during a virtual presser. “I’m the best pound-for-pound fighter at 122. It just happens that nobody wanted to fight me there. I have the recognition but nobody wanted to fight me so I came down to 118.”
Should Rigondeaux pick up the win against Casimero, he’ll set his sights on facing pound-for-pound star, Naoya Inoue, the division’s unified champion. The Cuban product has long been intrigued by a matchup that would feature Inoue’s explosive offense and his elusive defense. If a showdown between the pair took place, Rigondeaux is confident that he would walk away with the win.
With that said, he does tip his cap to the immensely talented fighter out of Japan.
“He’s an excellent champion. Very good fighter, nothing but respect for him.”
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