The “event” takes place this Saturday at the Ice Arena Wales, Cardiff, Wales, July 17th, when Guillermo Rigondeaux, 16-0, 10 KO defends his shaky Super WBA superbantam title against James Dickens, 22-1, 7 KO, aka Jazza Dickens.
And who in the dickens is Dickens you ask?
Damned if I know other than perusing boxrec which reveals him to be a still somewhat fresh fringe of the fringe contender level, rated 64th by boxrec. Of the four opponents Rigondeaux has defended against since lifting his title off a true era P4P great, Nonito Donaire, the best is currently rated 31st in his division in boxrec and unrated in Ring as are the others. Two are near 40 years of age and currently unranked even in boxrec as their careers wind down from inactivity, yet somehow Rigondeaux managed to get knocked down multiple times in these fights and looked more like a dog pound fighter than P4P. The so called Bible of Box, Ring Magazine rates him as #5 P4P while boxrec ranks him 67th P4P, just over #68 Donaire who remains unranked in Ring P4P rankings. Poor Jazza is so far back in boxrec P4P rankings that he’s effectively buried.
Only in boxing are there such routine, glaring contradictions, a sport that simply fails to offer any but comical self regulation with no end in sight.
At this point me thinks Rigondeaux should next attempt to cash out of his disappointing career by taking short money for the biggest possible fight since he cannot be making much money in a peewee division fighting such low level comp. He defected from Cuba to the US where the boxing “establishment” bent over backwards for him. He claims fighters are ducking him, but truth is he’s a management nightmare, never understanding that tiny fighters need a compelling style, thus killing perfectly good fights with salary demands beyond the capacity of his drawing power. He could easily move up or down 4lbs to make some bigger fights than this one, but he don’t want it. Freddie Roach trained him when he first turned pro and thought him “the greatest talent I’ve ever seen.”
Talent in boxing has always been in abundance, yet never guaranteed a great fighter, instead reinventing himself into the most talented slug in history hanging on for the few peanuts his grade C latest shady promoter can scrounge for him. This is America, so it’s his choice if he likes that kind of fare.
The International public could care less, but plenty enough local rabid Brit boxing fans to care to at least make at least some noise in Wales on the night. Might keep a pillow handy if you’re watching on the tele just in case you nod out early and need a place for your noggin to fall. It’s that type of fight though on paper he could easily knockout the overmatched Jazza.