Jamie Moore Explains Why Canelo Had to Have His Hands Wrapped Twice
By: Michael Kane
Rocky Fielding put his WBA Super Middleweight title on the line on Saturday against Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Ultimately it was not Fielding’s night as he was knocked down four times in the three rounds that he contested as Canelo added a world title at a third weight division.
However Fielding’s coach, British coach of the year, Jamie Moore was unhappy with Canelo and his team before the fight due to how much tape was being used.
Photo Credit: Golden Boy Promotions Twitter Account
Moore told Boxing News, “As you can imagine because of the superstar he is, he gets the rub of the green. I’d seen somebody getting wrapped up on DAZN, they put it on Twitter, I’d seen it earlier on and I said that’s not right in this state. They were wrapping the tape numerous times round the wrist and hand. It’s stacking, you’re not allowed to do it. We raised it as an issue, the commission agreed, said, ‘No, you’re right, you can’t do it.’ I sent Nige [Nigel Travis] in and Nige got there, they’d already done it. So made them take it off, said you’re not allowed to do that. The commission agreed to take it off and then they done it again. No, take it off again. So they started going crazy. Sent five people into my room saying take the tape off his hand, I said no problem, I don’t want tape on.”
“We knew we were going to walk into those sort of situations when we were coming here so we weren’t surprised. But Nige did the exact right thing. He didn’t bow to them,” Moore continued. “He went out and got the main guy [from the New York commission] and said tell them to take that off twice. He had them do it twice. It had to be rewrapped twice and rightly so. At the end of the day there are rules and regulations and people have to stick by them. You can’t just do your own thing because you’re Canelo.”
Moore was not sure if the fight went the way it did due to Fielding not sticking to the gameplan or that Canelo was that good that he negated any plans they had.
“I knew if it came down to that [Rocky] was always going to be brave but the plan wasn’t to attempt to sit in the pocket as early as the first round. I said you need to keep it long. Use your best attributes. Take the sting out of him. Before you sit in the pocket you need to at least take the sting out of him and then start to use your natural size advantage,” Moore said. “I’ll have to watch it back but maybe Canelo made him sit in the pocket, put his presence on him, established himself really quickly inside and hurt him straightaway downstairs. So when you’re in with probably the best pound for pound fighter on the planet, then the gameplan and the tactics are easier said than done. These guys are real good at negating stuff that you’re good at. So if he had done what I asked him to do, it might not have made a difference. We don’t know.
“What he didn’t allow Rocky to do was relax and let his shots go with full intent because he was always half-thinking about the next shot coming back and the reason he was half thinking was because [Alvarez] hurt him straight away downstairs.”
Moore was proud of his fighter, “All I can say is I’m proud of him. He’s got a 13 week old baby girl who he’s not really seen much of because he’s dedicated himself to this. He’s dared to try and do the impossible and unfortunately he didn’t pull it off. I’m proud of him. He kept getting up, I knew he’d keep getting up and the referee called it really well. I’ll be honest with you. Because as I was thinking if he lets him carry on, I’m going to start watching him really carefully and if he starts to get overwhelmed, I’ll step in. You’re not allowed to towel them here, you have to stand on the edge of the ring and I was just about to walk up the stairs so it was a good call and he lives to fight another day.”
“As far as longevity’s concerned it wasn’t a nine, 10, 11 round beat down,” Moore said. “He’ll be alright. He’s disappointed, I’m gutted for him because I know he could have done it better… We knew were up against. We believed we could have won before, if we’d done it right, but watching that now it was a big ask. He wanted to test himself against the very best. And that’s all you can want from a fighter.”
Jamie Munguia-Takeshi Inoue Title Tilt To Headline January 26 DAZN Show in Houston
By Jake Donovan
Ahead of its first show on a new platform, the Golden Boy Promotions staff is fully prepared to hit the ground running for the 2019 boxing season.
Currently in the hopper is a planned January 26 show at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, which will air live on sports streaming service DAZN. Headlining the show, unbeaten super welterweight titlist Jaime Munguia will attempt his fourth defense in facing undefeated challenger Takeshi Inoue.
Golden Boy makes its DAZN debut this Saturday, with its biggest star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez moving up in weight to challenge secondary super middleweight titlist Rocky Fielding. Alvarez signed a record-breaking contract with the streaming service this past October, a move that was shortly followed by Golden Boy securing a long-term deal to bring its entire stable over after having previously been spread out on HBO, ESPN and Facebook.
The first DAZN show of 2019 under such deal is expected to be formally announced shortly, with the red-hot Munguia (31-0, 26KOs) getting the honor of serving as the star attraction.
The red-hot unbeaten titlist from Tijuana, Mexico is currently promoted by Zanfer Promotions, but entered a co-promotional agreement with Golden Boy beginning with his one-sided knockout win over Sadam Ali in May. The feat was part of an active 2018 in-ring campaign, where he scored four wins in as many bouts but whose rise to stardom actually began with a fight that never materialized.
Munguia was named as an alternate opponent for Gennady Golovkin once plans for a May 5 rematch with Alvarez were put on hold due to Alvarez twice testing positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol. Best efforts to preserve the fight date in Las Vegas were ultimately thwarted after Bob Bennett, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission deemed Munguia as too green a challenge for a boxer of Golovkin’s superstar ilk.
It was a fair assessment, as Munguia—while 28-0 at the time—would have been moving up in weight in addition to taking a massive leap in competition. Golovkin wound up taking the show to Southern California, where he annihilated Vanes Martirosyan in two rounds.
Meanwhile, Munguia went on to become a major breakout star of 2018. Shortly after knocking out Ali to win the title in their HBO-televised headliner in May, the 6’0” super welterweight made two high-profile defenses.
First was his decision win over former titlist Liam Smith in his second straight HBO headliner in July, less than eight weeks after winning the belt. Less than two months later came a 3rd round knockout of Brandon Cook in Las Vegas, as the chief support to the reschedule Alvarez-Golovkin rematch, in which Alvarez won a 12 round decision atop an HBO Pay-Per-View which sold more than 1.1 million units.
Efforts to squeeze in a 5th fight on the year would’ve had Munguia back on HBO, as there were talks of his headlining the network’s final-ever card. His handlers instead decided that it was too ambitious a move, with the preference of starting fresh in a 2019 campaign they hope to be equally as active while growing even more as an emerging boxing superstar.
Awaiting him will be Japan’s Inoue (13-0-1, 7KOs), who makes his stateside debut ahead of his first title challenge. The bout will also represent his first outside of Asia and just the second time away from his home country, the lone exception coming in a Sept. ’16 stay-busy win on a club show in Thailand.
Inoue has fought just once in 2018, scoring a 12-round decision over countryman Yuki Nonaka in their title elimination bout this past April in Tokyo, Japan.
Mexico’s Munguia fights for the sixth time in the United States, all coming in his past seven starts. His upcoming title defense will mark his first trip to Texas, with his previous stateside appearances coming in Las Vegas and upstate New York.
Inoue Stops McDonnell in One
By: Ste Rowen
Japanese phenomenon, Naoya Inoue lit up the Ota-City General Gym and put the bantamweight division on notice by stopping WBA ‘Regular’ champion, Jamie Mcdonnell in the 1st round.
The bout started off fairly tentatively as McDonnell looked the busier boxer, whilst Inoue bided his time before striking. Then half way through the round, Inoue landed a left hook which sent McDonnell shaking and ‘The Monster’ smelt blood. He followed the hook with another sharp left hand to the body which dropped his English opponent and signalled the beginning of the end.
The former IBF champion rose, but Inoue charged in, landing a barrage of power shots in quick succession and forcing the referee to call an end to the fight with just over a minute left in the 1st round.
McDonnell was expected to move up before today’s fight was announced, and after such a devastating defeat for the former British and European champion, it seems even more likely that he’ll make the jump to 122lb. That’s if he chooses to continue to fight.
Naoya though, now 16-0 (14KOs) will move onto the upcoming 118lb World Boxing Super Series, a tournament that already includes WBA ‘Super’ champion, Ryan Burnett, IBF holder, Emmanuel Rodriguez and WBO titlist, Zolani Tete.
Quickfire Undercard Report…
Ken Shiro wasted hardly any time in defending his WBC light flyweight belt, knocking out the former holder of the same strap, Ganigan Lopez of Mexico with a brutal body shot, in a rematch of their championship bout in May last year when Shiro, now 13-0 (7KOs) earned a majority decision.
Brother of Naoya Inoue, Takuma moved to 11-0 (3KOs) after knocking out Indonesian, Waldo Sabu in the 1st round.
Super featherweight, Tsuyoshi Tameda, now 17-3-2 (15KOs) stretched his knockout streak to four after taking just three rounds to stop Rivo ‘El Matador’ Rengkung.
In their respective professional debuts super flyweight, Taku Kuwahara and super featherweight, Ryuya Goto both scored 1st round stoppages.
Bantamweight Title Fight Preview Between Naoya Inoue and Jamie McDonnell
By: Ste Rowen
This Friday at Ota-City Central Gym in Tokyo, Jamie McDonnell, 29-2-1 (13KOs) will once again step away from home comforts to fight a man, most boxers would rather avoid. The Doncaster native, and WBA ‘Regular’ bantamweight champion will step into the ring with the much feared, Naoya ‘The Monster’ Inoue, already a two-weight world champion in just 15 pro fights.
It’s been almost four years since McDonnell picked up the vacant WBA ‘Regular’ after stopping 52-3 (34KOs), Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat with a crushing left hook, and since then, the former IBF titlist has fought just six times, fighting twice in 2016 and once last year – a Monaco rematch with Liborio Solis that ended in a ‘No-Contest’ due to a cut above the left eye of McDonnell.
In my end of 2017 UK P-4-P rankings, McDonnell was a ‘notable exception for those same reasons. Such a talented fighter deserves to be in the ring more often, but now he has the perfect opportunity to remind boxing fans just how good he is when he takes on ‘The Monster’,
‘Right now, I am in unbelievable physical and mental shape like never before,’ Jamie told Sky Sports, ‘I have a good understanding that Naoya Inoue is a great boxer and a knockout artist…and he’s pound-for-pound, but I can box with anyone.’
‘I’m unbeaten for the last 10 years, and I’m a long-time world champion…I don’t think Inoue has fought someone like me in his entire career.’
Along with the record to back up his claims, McDonnell also brings a significant size and reach advantage into the bout. The two boxers came face to face earlier in the week and the difference between them was clear, but it’s not something ‘The Monster’ is overly worried about. Speaking to ‘Boxing Mobile Japan’ he said,
‘It isn’t easy to find those kinds of fighters in Asia…It’s the first time that I’m going to face a fighter that tall. But it’s the same when meeting any fighter for the first time, there’s always something new to contend with.’
‘I think it’ll be similar to the Omar Narvaez fight in terms of intensity…McDonnell is a tough fighter, but I want to knock him down with one punch.’
If victorious, Inoue, 15-0 (13KOs) will technically become a three-weight world champion, after picking up titles at light-flyweight and super-fly, and the Japanese phenomenon has also confirmed his place in the upcoming bantamweight World Boxing Super Series, assuming he gets the win this week.
It took Naoya just six pro bouts to pick up his first world championship honours by stopping 29-2-1, Adrian Hernandez with a brutal right hook. He defended the WBC belt just once before jumping up two weight classes to take on Narvaez for the WBO strap at super-fly. ‘The Monster’ continued to live up to his nickname by carrying his much-hyped power through the weight divisions and wiping out his Argentinian opponent in two rounds.
The Japanese has only gone the full distance twice, 10-rounds with recently dethroned light flyweight, Ryoichi Taguchi and 12 dominant rounds with David Carmona – who takes on Kal Yafai in Fresno, also this weekend. McDonnell however has a wealth of experience, including in high level bouts, going the 12-round distance on nine occasions, including his two impressive points wins over Tomoki Kameda back in 2015.
Whoever comes out victorious in Tokyo on Friday, it’s hard to envision a bout that doesn’t entertain. Whether it’s six minutes out of your day as, Naoya plans, or if it goes the full twelve, this could end up being the perfect way to start your Friday.
HBO Boxing After Dark Preview: Bivol vs. Broadhurst, McDonnell vs. Solis
By: Thomas Nicholls
Light-Heavyweight star Dmitry Bivol and the rematch between Jamie McDonnell and Liborio Solis for the WBA World Bantamweight title top the Monte-Carlo Boxing Bonanza – a night of World Championship Boxing in the prestigious Salle Médecin of the Casino de Monte-Carlo on this Saturday live on HBO.
Bivol can showcase his fearsome power when he defends his WBA light-heavyweight belt against Australian Trent Broadhurst after Badou Jack vacated the belt instead of a mandatory title defence against the big-hitting Russian.
Bivol is an exciting 26-year old who will be looking to add another KO to his impressive record. The Russian’s reputation continues to grow and he picked up the crown in just his seventh pro fight. He has already wowed crowds in his homeland and the US and now Bivol will be out to impress in his first fight in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Jamie McDonnell, back from injury, will be aiming to defend his WBA title for the sixth time in a rematch with Liborio Solis, with Dereck Chisora and Scott Quigg also featuring in must-win bouts.
The Doncaster man retained his WBA bantamweight title with a closely-fought points win over Solis last November and they meet again at the Salle Médecin of the Casino de Monte Carlo on November 4.
Controversial Heavyweight star Dereck Chisora is aiming to become a two-time European champion when he challenges Agit Kabayel for the belt. Chisora landed the title in September 2013 after stopping Edmund Gerber and surrendered it to Tyson Fury, also challenging Kubrat Pulev for the strap in May 2016, and ‘Del Boy’ is looking to take the crown from Kabayel who defends for the first time after winning the strap in February.
Quigg will resume his pursuit of the featherweight world championship as he battles Ukrainian Oleg Yefimovych in a WBA title eliminator, with the Bury man targeting his second win under new trainer Freddie Roach.
“We are delighted to be back in Monaco for an incredible evening of world championship boxing live on Sky Sports in the UK and HBO across America,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
“I’m excited to watch Dmitry Bivol, one of the most exciting young fighters in world boxing, and of course to see the world title rematch of Jamie McDonnell versus Liborio Solis after their last close encounter.”
WBSS Results: George Groves Defeats Jamie Cox
By: Ste Rowen
In the third Super Middleweight Quarter Final of the World Boxing Super Series, George Groves stepped up his claim to be the number one, Super Middleweight in Britain and the world as ‘The Saint’ landed a perfect body shot to stop Jamie Cox in the fourth round.
Cox, 24-0-0 heading into the bout, was looking to make a statement from the start, rushing into the bigger man from the first bell and forcing the WBA Champ onto the backfoot. Groves remained composed though as he blocked and deflected Cox’s best efforts through round two.
It became a scrappy affair at the end of round two and through round three as the smaller man, Jamie Cox, looked to rough up Groves. But again, his efforts went wanting, as Groves remained superior. Cox unloaded at an impressive pace but Groves ate up the punches and remained the more clinical of the two fighters.
Going into the fourth, it was more of the same with Cox looking to establish some kind of superiority until, as Cox continued to unload, he left himself open to the body and Groves, now 27-2-0, sent a crunching right hand that folded Jamie Cox in half and ended the bout.
Speaking at the post fight press conference Groves said, ‘I fought I boxed really, really well. I knew Jamie had tremendous heart, lots of balls. He walked through big shots that I was landing, so he was always dangerous. He certainly deserves to be at this level. We had fun and games in the buildup. I put him down a little bit but I knew that he was better than what I was saying but I think I boxed tremendous tonight, there’s always room for improvement. If anyone was down with whether I was a flash in the pan world title win, I think they know now that I mean business.’
On the upcoming semifinal and facing Eubank Jr, the WBA Champion said, ‘This Eubank Jr fight, I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while. I’m very excited about it. Eubank’s improved over the years but he hasn’t boxed anyone on my level. I know if I box like I did tonight, he doesn’t stand a chance. The fight fans out there now are excited about what’s coming. I’m excited.’
The Groves v Eubank semifinal is set for early 2018.
WBSS Preview: George Groves v Jamie Cox
By: Ste Rowen
The third Super Middleweight World Boxing Super Series quarter final is set to take place at Wembley Arena on Saturday night in an all British match-up between WBA World Champion ‘Saint’ George Groves (26-3-0 19KOs) and the former Commonwealth Champion Jamie Cox (24-0-0 13 KOs). An accumulation of joy, relief and sadness hit George Groves when at the fourth time of asking he had become the newly crowned WBA titleholder. At Bramall Lane, England in May this year Fedor Chudinov gave his all, forcing ‘The Saint’ into rough waters and displaying an impressive chin but ultimately Groves’ relentlessness, world class jab and power showed as the referee stopped Chudinov on his feet in the sixth round of an all action bout.
Photo Credit: WBSS
It’s been a long winding road for the 29-year-old Londoner. He’s been part of, and victorious in one of the best British-prospect rivalries between himself and current IBF Super Middleweight Champion James Degale. He was one half of two fantastic all British world title fights, facing up against former WBA and IBF Super Middleweight Champion, Carl Froch.
Once in Manchester, then again at the fabled ‘80,000 people’ at Wembley Stadium. He lost both fights. Unfairly stopped in the first and indisputably beaten in the second as Froch knocked out Groves with the last punch of his career.
But Groves’ stature and popularity has grown ten-fold because of, and since then. He’s had his rough times. In the lead up to the first Froch fight he split with his only pro career coach, Adam Booth. After defeat in his third world title shot to Badou Jack in Vegas via split decision, Groves separated with trainer, Paddy Fitzpatrick. Then in the midst of cementing the foundations of a fourth world title shot; tragedy. He fought and defeated Edward Gutkneckht in a one-sided fight that, in truth should’ve been stopped earlier than it was. Gutknecht suffered swelling on the brain and to this day remains unable to speak or walk. Life had to go on for Groves though and the WBA World Title needed a champion to hold it, and so it did when he beat Chudinov in Sheffield.
The Muhammad Ali Trophy awaits and Jamie Cox is the first barrier to it. Jamie Cox is the relative unknown heading into this bout. Despite a successful amateur career that included a commonwealth gold in 2006, Jamie Cox has never established himself in the pros. Up until 2013 he was fighting at the light middleweight limit, even calling out then British Champion Kell Brook in 2009. Personal problems have also blighted his career and been the cause of inactivity, including an almost two-year absence from the ring between June 2013 to February 2015. The southpaw fights to impress in the early rounds but a tendency to stay on the inside is a concern when he’s up against someone with as impressive a right hook as Groves has got. The standard of opponents up until now is also a concern for Cox. His stand out wins have come against Hungarian Ferenc Albert in a first round knockout, Commonwealth Champion at the time Obodai Sai and a tenround decision win over Martin Fidel Rios in a dirty affair which saw Cox have two points deducted and Rios three. The World Boxing Super Series has created a platform that, for better or worse has set up bouts that wouldn’t normally be looked on as standalone world title fights. George Groves said himself at the quarter final draw that he chose Cox as his opponent because he is the ‘easiest route’. There are stories though of Jamie Cox’s power in sparring and his natural stance and come forward mentality has led to him leading with the head causing his competitors problems, including cuts, that his opponents hadn’t planned for.
It’s a problem Groves will have to nullify before Cox can gain momentum in the early rounds. Whoever comes out victorious on Saturday night, Chris Eubank Jr awaits in the semifinal and the IBO Champion is riding high on a wave of momentum since his one punch knockout of Turkish, Avni Yildrim last weekend. It’s set up for an all British semifinal, meaning for certain that there will be a Brit in the final of the WBSS.
Rigondeaux’s Left Leaves Dickens a Broken Man
Rigondeaux’s Left Leaves Dickens a Broken Man
By: Oz Ozkaya
The WBA World Super-Bantamweight clash between champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, and challenger Jamie ‘Jazza’ Dickens, certainly didn’t fail to produce the world class touch that many had paid to see. Sadly, in the short two rounds that were witnessed, it was only Rigondeaux who produced that small glimmer of class. After a steady start, Rigondeaux quickly got his eye in and dealt a fatal left-handed hook shot that broke the jaw of Jamie Dickens.
Leading up to this fight, Rigondeaux, or as he is better known ‘Rigo’, had been caught up in a Visa complication which ultimately led to the cancellation of the previously arranged fight with Dickens, back in March. However, with everything during the build-up running much smoother this time; the fight was all that was left to complete.
Rigondeaux and Dickens, as you could suspect, both talked about defeating one another in their own spectacularly envisaged ways pre-fight. But with Rigondeaux appearing extremely focused through all the press that he had done, in addition to the public pad work sessions where he showed off how quick and skillful he is, it was widely thought that he was going to make light work of Dickens and claim yet another scalp to add to his perfect record of 16-0.
In all fairness his opponent cannot really be criticised for last night, after all, despite receiving a few lightning quick combinations from Rigondeaux in the first, of which he countered twice respectably, he never really got the chance to get going. Once he was back in the corner at the end of the second after Rigondeaux’s venomous overhead left, it was unanimously decided among the Dickens team that it was game over. The heart of Dickens wanted to fight on, but sadly for him the heads in his corner knew it was too big a risk to continue.
Speaking after the fight, a dejected Dickens tells of the motions when Rigondeaux’s left connected.
“Yeh, I knew straight away it was broken. I felt the crack when he landed. I felt it hanging off but I thought that I could carry on. I thought if it was meant to be I could get him but I knew that if he connected again, it was just going to come right off.
“We all made the call at the end of the (second) round. It was sensible really. Paul and Mick (Stevenson) said they had to pull me out, that I couldn’t go back out like that. I wanted to think I could get him but realistically it wasn’t worth it.”
It is unknown at this point as to how bad the damage on his jaw is, but one thing is for certain; The sound that the overhand left Rigondeaux delivered could probably have been heard all the way back in Miami, Florida. It was crisp, clear-cut, powerful… and thrown at the speed of light. Dickens was wobbled and appeared confused from damage, but, somehow managed to survive the onslaught.
After the fight speaking to Box Nation (Who hosted the fight on U.K television), Rigondeaux said that he wanted to stay in the U.K and fight again but only if Frank Warren would like him to. Frank Warren (Queensbury Promotions) was, of course, grinning from to cheek at the mere notion of that idea, Rigondeaux and he then subsequently shook hands in the post-ringside interview.
“I’m not the best, but I’m the most complete,” Rigondeaux said. “I ripped his jaw out. All those guys that want their jaws ripped out, I’m here!”. He then went on to say: ”Not 100 of those guys add up to 1 of me. I want hard fights. People make it boring [against me] once they feel my power.”
The future for Rigondeaux remains to be seen, at 35, this may be his last push to secure some big main event clashes. Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg were two of the fighters named post match, and Rigo appeared un-phased about who could potentially be put in front of him, the only question on his mind; when and where?.
An interesting night of Boxing in Cardiff for sure. The British & Commonwealth Super Welterweight Championship match between Luke Williams and Gary Corcoran producing arguably the best fight of the evening, in what actually turned out to be more of a highly energetic street fight than a boxing match. Williams landing some crushing blows to Corcoran in the early rounds, more memorably a swiftly executed hook managed to open up a large gash above the left eye of Corcoran. His corner then left with the job of keeping patched up thereafter.
Going into the final rounds it was all very ‘from me to you’ with the ever-changing shift in momentum. Despite somehow managing to remain composed from an earlier knockdown (which wasn’t classed as a knocked down as he miraculously bounced off the ropes and landed back on his feet) Corcoran was trying absolutely everything he could to try and slay Williams. But, the opposite happened and after withstanding a lot of tidy jab-by-jab work and meaty body shots, Williams pulled out a stunning KO from his almost empty locker.
Guillermo Rigondeaux To Defend WBA World Super-Bantamweight Title In Wales
Guillermo Rigondeaux To Defend WBA World Super-Bantamweight Title In Wales
By: Oz Ozkaya
The mysterious nature of Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0) would intrigue even Sherlock Holmes, but Saturday night will be the 17th professional fight he would have competed in after boasting an unrivalled record of 475 victories in 487 contests as an amateur. Some would argue that he is one of the greatest boxers of all time. Others would say that he has been ruined by leeches and ghouls that have previously run his brand.
Unfortunately, in recent years, Rigo (as he is better known) has not had the greatest of luck when it has come down to agents, managers and promoters. The fight he participates in on Saturday was originally scheduled to have taken place back on March 12th, however, due to Visa complications that couldn’t be resolved the fight was cancelled and nobody knew what was to happen next.
Thankfully, Frank Warren, the promoter of Queensberry Promotions, has been able to rearrange the showdown at another venue and the now world title fight should go ahead tomorrow night instead. His opponent, a completely inexperienced one when it comes to the world level, is up-and-coming British fighter Jamie ‘Jazza’ Dickens. Dickens has never fought an opponent anywhere near the rank of Rigondeaux, but with the utmost of confidence, and with an impressive professional record (22-1), Dickens will be heading into this fight knowing that it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. He knows he will have to give absolutely everything if he is to come anywhere near defeating Rigondeaux.
For the original bout, the world title wasn’t contractually agreed to have been on the line, and this was mainly because Rigondeaux had been stripped of it for failing to make a defence through a certain period of time. Since then, the WBA have recently reinstated him as their champion and so the fight now has a been given world title glorification, but having said this it is beyond doubt that Rigondeaux will be envisaging the next step ahead after this bout. Carl Frampton and Moses Flores two of the undefeated names in the division that the world would love to see try and outbox Rigondeaux.
During the final press conference in Cardiff, Rigondeaux stated: “I would like to show my respect and gratitude to Dickens for having the courage to take this fight. Dickens is the only [junior featherweight] in the world that has the guts to step in the ring with me. All of the others like to talk and talk but they don’t have the courage to actually fight. They know where to find me. I’m here and I’m ready to face anyone in the world. I’m quicker than FedEx and better than UPS.”
Dickens on the contrary, with that ever so familiar cheeky but confident Liverpudlian charm that’s very reminiscent of fellow Merseyside boys Tony Bellew and Liam Smith, presented the cameras of Boxing Nation TV with some startling confidence of his own. He went on to say: “I’ll listen to my coaches and get my hand raised at the end of the night. I’m going to box out of my skin, I know there’s more in me—that’s why I took this fight. If there’s anyone to bring it out of me I know it’s him.”
Realistically, if Dickens can manage to withstand the speed and skill of Rigondeaux for twelve rounds then that in itself should be a realistic aim for Saturday night. With Rigondeaux looking in fine fettle during public pre-fight pad and sparring sessions, it’s exciting to know that he will be bringing his A-game along with him come Saturday at Cardiff’s Ice Arena.