“The Rigondeaux Rigamaroo”


    Boxing defies logic in ways to which very few other sports can compare.  The ultimate example of this defiance is a phrase we hear all the time as fight fans. One that is as close to gospel as anything could ever be in this religion of ours: “Styles makes fight.”

    This expression, and its near-absolute truth in our world, has given us Vasquez – Marquez, Gatti-Ward, Duran-Barkley, and for us in the digital age, #RiosAlvarado.

    Still, fight fans insist on using deductive reasoning to predict fight outcomes because that’s the way our brains are wired: Guillermo Rigondeaux will beat Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym in Houston on December the 15th because Rigondeaux mopped the floor off with Ramos, who knocked the heck out of Shimoda, who beat Li-Lee by unanimous decision, who took the title away from Kratingdaenggym back in 2010.

    These “if-then” arguments are the wellspring of disputes among fight fans and, in Houston next month, we will be given plenty more to work with when Rigondeaux faces off against Kratingdaenggym for the WBA World Super Bantamweight title on the undercard of the Nonito Donaire-Jorge Arce event.

    Kratingdaenggym is a top-5 Jr. Featherweight contender on many lists but no one seems to be convinced that he will give Rigondeaux much trouble.  He has not defeated a credible opponent in over two years and has a questionable defense that Rigondeaux is expected to be able to pick-apart with his speed and sharp, accurate power punches.

    While the other members of the Buena Vista Beat-down Club, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Erislandy Lara and Yoan Pablo Hernandez are making noise in their respective divisions, Rigondeaux is still not getting the credit that many feel he deserves.

    Donaire said of Rigondeaux in his last post-fight interview that “he needs more guys to make me excited.  I want to have confidence that this guy is a good fighter.  They have to prove themselves for me to go at it.”

    The consummate technician, Guillermo Rigondeaux has perfected his craft over 400+ amateur bouts.  He is not known as a particularly powerful or fan-friendly fighter but, nevertheless, he is undefeated as a professional, has dominated most of the rounds he has contested and possesses 73% KO rate.  The man knows how to win fights, plain and simple.

    There is no question that things are different when the head-gear and red and blue tank tops are retired but how much more proof is needed to accept Rigondeaux as a the top fighter that he is?  Or will he slip into the annals of lesser-known greats that never received the main-stream recognition that their skills deserved?

    Aside from being a contender for breaking the record for most syllables ever printed on a fight bill outside of Southeast Asia, the Rigondeaux – Kratingdaenggym match-up is intriguing more so for what it signifies as a potential lead-in to Nonito Donaire’s next fight.  For as much as we all would love to see it, the Donaire-Mares matchup is about as likely to happen in 2013 as Mayweather-Pacquiao.  So, let’s not hold our breath.

    Assuming Donaire gets past Arce, and Rigondeaux beats Kratingdaenggym, aside from the two of them facing off, there are no relevant fights remaining between the top contenders at 122, unless the Top Rank – Golden Boy Promotions stalemate is resolved.

    In addition to the action that is expected out of the main event, this promotional chess game will continue to be sort of humorous and fun to watch, in an awkwardly cynical kind of way.  In 2013, the scheme should result in a last hurrah at 122 lbs. for Nonito Donaire before he grows into the featherweight division.

    That send-off will be with Guillermo Rigondeaux on a major Top-Rank card in the Fall of 2013.