Manny Pacquiao On John Riel Casimero Vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux: “It Was Like Manny Pacquiao Vs. Floyd Mayweather”
By: Hans Themistode
Manny Pacquiao sensed deja vu as he sat back in his palatial estate to watch Guillermo Rigondeaux take on his fellow Filipino countrymen, and WBO bantamweight titlist, John Riel Casimero. The two faced off this past Saturday night at Dignity Health Sports Park, in Carson California.
Before entering the ring, both men gave off the illusion that their contest would be action-packed. While Casimero did his best to hold up his end of the bargain, Rigondeaux was constantly on the move.
In the end, what resulted was a lackluster affair. With a grand total of 91 punches landed, Rigondeaux and Casimero set the record for the lowest amount of landed punches in CompuBox history.
As a fairly jam-packed crowd was dissatisfied with what they were watching, Pacquiao simply shook his head as he took a trip down memory lane.
“I’m glad that he retained his belt but the thing is, his opponent didn’t want to fight him,” said Pacquiao. “It was like Manny Pacquiao vs Floyd Mayweather.”
After forcing the world to wait countless years, Pacquiao and Mayweather faced off in what was considered, “the fight of the century.” Although neither man was at the top of their games, they were still considered pound-for-pound stalwarts.
The anticipation was thick and the attention on their showdown was high. But ultimately, in the mind of many, they produced a dud of an event. In total, Mayweather landed 148 of the 435 total punches he threw that night. Pacquiao, on the other hand, was less efficient, nailing Mayweather a total of 81 times while missing a combined 348 of his shots.
Unlike his countrymen, Pacquiao failed to pick up the win. But while he was thrilled that Casimero retained his super bantamweight title, in the end, Pacquiao wasn’t thrilled with the lack of action.
Guillermo Rigondeaux: “I’m The Lineal 122 Pound Champion, I’m The Father Of All The Little Chickens In That Division”
By: Hans Themistode
For most of Guillermo Rigondeaux’s career, he’s sat back and listened as his competition has lobbied disparaging words in his direction. Yet, no matter how many times someone has threatened to hand him a vicious beating, the Cuban native has simply dissected his rivals once he stepped foot inside the ring.
As the former two-time Olympic gold medalist prepares to make his latest appearance to the squared circle, this Saturday night against John Riel Casimero, he simply smiles as the WBO bantamweight belt holder has threatened him repeatedly. With the Filipino native confident that he’ll get rid of his man in no more than three rounds, Rigondeaux quietly rolls his eyes.
“I’m tired of hearing all these guys trash talk,” said Rigondeaux during an interview with Fight Hype TV. “They’re all clowns from the circus and he’ll see on Saturday what’s going to happen.”
While Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KOs) continues to focus his attention on Casimero and his 118-pound crown, he can’t help but take a look at his former division.
From the moment Rigondeaux turned pro in 2009 up until 2017, he competed one weight class higher at the super bantamweight division. Having won the WBA and WBO world titles, as well as the lineal super bantamweight crown, Rigondeaux still views himself as still the man to beat.
In an effort to advance his career, Rigondeaux opted to move up two weight divisions in December of 2017 to take on Vasyl Lomachenko. Although he boxed well early on, the size and strength of Lomachenko were ultimately too much.
While Rigondeaux could have opted to move back down to 122 pounds, he decided to try his hand at 118. So far, the 40-year-old has successfully made the transition. In February of 2020, Rigondeaux captured the vacant WBA “Regular” title via split decision against Liborio Solis.
Since Rigondeaux has moved on, several young fighters have gone on to win world titles in his former weight class. Currently, the belt holders at 122 pounds are Stephen Fulton, who holds the WBO, Brandon Figueroa who has the WBC, and Murodjon Akhmadaliev who has both the IBF and WBA titles.
Regardless of the trinkets that each fighter lays claim to, Rigondeaux believes that until he’s defeated at 122 pounds, he’ll always preside as the number one super bantamweight in the world.
“I’m the father of all the little chickens in that division. Everyone knows that’s my division until someone takes it from me. I’m the Lineal 122-pound champion.”
Guillermo Rigondeaux: “I’m The Best Pound For Pound Fighter At 122, Nobody Wanted To Fight Me So I Came Down To 118”
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.”