Guillermo Rigondeaux got back in action this past weekend on the undercard of the highly anticipated Cotto vs Canelo bout in Las Vegas. The undefeated Cuban went up against tough Filipino Drian Francisco. Unfortunately, the win was earned in one of the most boring fashion I have personally ever witnessed.
Rigondeaux (16-0 10 ko’s) has faced plenty of criticism for being too patient a fighter. I personally did not find him to be boring up until this fight, but after this last performance it is hard to come up with any argument that would defend him against detractors.
With an average of seven punches landed per round, there is no arguing that this performance would move no one to want to watch him again. Given the fact that he took the fight on two weeks notice due to the withdrawal of former super middleweight champion Andre Ward, plus Rigondeaux hadn’t fought in 11 months, still doesn’t excuse the tiring performance he put on.
It was a virtual shutout with two judges scoring it 100-90 while the other judge scored it 97-93, which was a gracious gesture to award Francisco with three rounds.
Rigondeaux waited to counter all night and was unwilling to start his own offense at any cost even if he was being berated with boos. Unfortunately, the numbers prove just how much of a struggle it was to watch this fight as Rigondeaux, through 10 rounds, landed 72-347 punch attempts and Francisco landed 42 of 228 punches thrown.
In the past, I’d be the first to vouch for Rigondeaux. I believe he has all the skill and was wrongly blackballed because of his style, which I’ve actually found interesting in the past. He is a great tactician and his beautiful counters are proof of great ring talent and IQ, but his unwillingness to mix it up definitely hinders his star power in the sport of boxing.
The fact that Rigondeaux is now signed to the Roc Nation Sports stable could be a sign of good things to come, quite potentially a Lomanchenko matchup the fans have been clamoring for. This performance, though, may hinder his asking power for big fights, getting people in the seats is the name of the boxing game and Guillermo Rigondeaux has to do a lot more than he seems willing to do. Frankly, landing 7 punches per round isn’t enough to get people into any arena to watch him.