Rigondeaux: Nonito Doesn’t Want The Fight, Ready for Kennedy


    At 9-0 and already winning world title, it seems that Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux is on the fast lane to stardom in his professional boxing career. Already a decorated amateur and one of the greatest amateurs in the history of the sport with over 400 victories, the moment is never too big for the Cuban southpaw. “The amateur world prepared me for this early professional boxing success. I’m very disciplined and humble. I was a star amateur so that’s how I am able to handle this early success,” Rigondeaux said through his advisor last Sunday when he spoke to ThaBoxingVoice.com

    While he may be only 9 pro fights in, he is over the age of 30 and knows that he needs to cash in on his prime. That’s why he’s pushing for the major fights even though they are not knocking on his door. Rigondeaux explains, “If we get the fights that we’ve been pushing for we’ll be there. We can’t force (Nonito) Donaire or (Abner) Mares to fight us. It’s not they money issue because we are not hurting his purse. Maybe I have to go to 126 lbs to get a big fight but I want to unify the 122lb division but the other so called champions don’t want to fight me.’

    This Saturday on the televised portion of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley pay-per-view undercard, he does have someone who wants to fight him and is eager to take his title from him in Teon Kennedy from Philadelphia. Rigondeaux states that, “I’m preparing for this fight like it’s a Donaire or Mares fight. I have respect for Kennedy for taking this fight because the rest of the 122 lb fighters are rats and don’t want to fight me.” Rigondeaux has to put on a very impressive performance to land a shot at either Mares or Donaire and to dispel the stigma of his style that some Donaire has said is not fan pleasing. Rigondeaux however is not bothered by the comment and said, “I’m a go do my work like I regularly do, I’m the champion, I’m going to keep my title and let my performance speak for itself. At 122 I knocked out the champion, did he knock anyone out at 122 pounds? If he thinks he can beat me then step in the ring and prove it.”

    In his last fight against then champion Rico Ramos; most pundits figured the fight would not have high entertainment value with two counter punchers sharing the same ring. However Rigondeaux brought the fight to Ramos knocking him down in the first round and then finishing him off in the 6th to capture the title. “Ramos came in wanting to fight his fight and got knocked out”, said Rigondeaux. Knockouts certainly raises a fighter’s stock but the names still consider Rigondeaux too high risk low reward but Rigondeaux feels the fans decide who’s the best. “Fans want the best fights and the best fight is Rigondeaux vs. Donaire or Rigondeaux vs. Mares. So the whole high risk-low reward thing should be thrown out the window.”

    It’s been a struggle for Rigondeaux to land his fight with Donaire but he certainly has not angst with Top Rank (who also promotes Donaire) and feels that his promotional company has tried to land him the fight but feel its Donaire’s handlers that don’t want the fight. “I’m ready to fight Nonito any place any time. Top Rank told me his people don’t want the fight so what am I going to do? Keep winning until he has no other option but to face me.”

    In general for the batch of Cuban fighters that came over with him, it’s been a struggle to land the big fights they want; whether it be him for Donaire, Erislandy Lara for Canelo Alvarez, or Yuriorkis Gamboa getting the Juan Manuel Lopez fight. Rigondeaux only has one simple answer, “The market is afraid to have a Cuban fighter as a superstar and pound for pound champion, and that’s why we can’t get the big fights we deserve to prove to the world how good we are”

    There was no other option but boxing for Rigondeaux. Defecting from his homeland of Cuba was a tough decisions but it was one he had to make even if he left his family back home in Cuba. He said, “The decision was made when he came here. I do communicate with my family and they are good and they understand why I did what I did. But I’d be lying to you if it wasn’t hard on me. My mom passed away a couple of years ago and I wasn’t able to put her to rest. I’m strong willed and focused on boxing now but my family is always on his mind.”

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    Victor is the editor/lead writer for thaboxingvoice.com. he is also a co-host of the boxing voice of the people radio show thaboxingvoice.com's official radio show podcast. he is also a media correspondent covering fights bringing you live interviews with boxers, promoters, trainers, managers, ect. he's been a fan of the sport all his life and has covered the sport since 2011. he can be emailed: victo[email protected] and followed @boxingvoice_vic on twitter.