Tag Archives: Guillermo Rigondeaux

Double Olympic Gold Vasyl Lomachenko vs El Nino de Oro Jorge Linares

Vasyl Lomachenko jumps yet another weight class in a gold mining dispute to tackle the most accomplished lightweight currently standing, Jorge Linares @Madison Square Garden, New York, New York this Saturday, May 12th. The double Olympic Gold Medalist Lomachenko last fought in the most accomplished fight by amateur credentials in the history of boxing when bout against another double Olympic Gold Medalist that turned into an humiliating rout against the now badly humiliated Guillermo Rigondeaux.

As the 30 year old Lomachenko, 10-1, 8 KO moves up through the divisions, it is inevitable that bigger, stronger, highly skilled fighters will be harder to topple. I expect this fight to be as Lomachenko’s most difficult fight yet next to his ill fated dirty title debut to the crooked underbelly of boxing’s well known dirty dealings against Orlando Salido. The 32 year old El Nino de Oro Linares, 44-3, 27 KO is no where near as dirty a fighter as Salido, but when punches start flying as Lomachenko establishes his dominance, sometimes a well timed wayward low blow has been known to reset the momentum.

Yeah, true enough on paper the Linares professional career record dwarfs Lomachenko in what would normally be a mismatch, more than 4x the victories, but you can toss away the record book with Lomachenko. He breaks all the known limits of the boxing universe to reset time and space in the most incredibly dominant performances anyone has ever seen from an 11 fight pro against some of the top fighters of his generation. Linares’ combination of size and speed and movement will perhaps puzzle him the first few rounds, but from then on I expect the fight to be all Lomachenko’s way whether be uninamimous decision or retirement by Linares.

Linares best bet is the curse of the “Ring Expert” pics of 19-1 for Lomachenko…yeah right! Boxing experts: Can’t live with ’em and could do very well without them mucking up the already fetid waters. The fighter who executes his style the best wins in the perfect world that Lomachenko inhabits, but if Linares watched the Salido fight empowered with the dirty ref, well, nobody does ugly better than boxing, so let’s find out when these furious fists of gold start flying with bad intentions.

 

Who The Dickens is Jazza Dickens & Why Is Guillermo Rigondeaux Fighting Him?

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.

Not Charles, but rather the other Dickens

Not Charles, but rather the other Dickens

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.

CC Your Buds~Canelo vs Cotto Is ON!

Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas will be exploding come Saturday, November 21st when Saul Canelo Alvarez and Miguel Angel Cotto renew the historical Mexican vs Puerto Rican family feud with a real fight, can you believe it, a real fight in America? Who’d have ever thunk it in this faint hearted day and age of posers, duckers, and bawling punch monkey darlings? Could even be a fight for the ages, but at very least we know from their pedigrees it’ll be good as long as it lasts.

The new promotional kid on the block, Roc Nation, and Golden Boy will share promotional honors after a heart stopping, grueling set of negotiations with Cotto who has lately become something  diva, one of the concessions needed being the 155-pound catchweight. Up for grabs will be Cotto’s Ring Belt and the WBC middleweight belt that he is reported as earning $30 million to defend compared to Canelo’s $10 million. I would have thought the purses would be roughly even after their similar recent PPV numbers, but such is another huge concession that Canelo takes for the opportunity of a lifetime.

Canelo Pounds Kirkland

Canelo Pounds Kirkland

Luckily Canelo has been well priming himself for this big bout at 155 with his last three outings at the weight where he did quite well for himself, knocking the doggie biscuits out of Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland and forcing Erislandy Lara into a shameless run, shuck, and jive for survival.

Meanwhile, Cotto hasn’t been doing too shabby himself with conclusive knockouts of Sergio Martinez and Daniel Geale. Why he insisted on a silly 159lb catchweight against Martinez? Because he can call more shots at this stage of his career. In making the Geale fight at 157lb, now I could understand as that’s a sweet three pounds under the middleweight limit, but I don’t think those catchweights affected the results anymore than this one at 155lbs will. However, if the winner tries to make Gennady Golovkin make 155, that could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Cotto might try for that kind of fight, but I think Canelo is ready to move up permanently to the full 160 where he obviously belongs if he wins this, but their futures are not ours to see. First things first.

Cotto Pounds Money

Cotto Pounds Money

In a bad sign of the declining times for Andre Ward, amazingly only 31 years of age and wasting his career away, he is supposed to be fighting another light heavyweight type opponent. Ahh, ha you say, another TBA sacrificial lamb for the needy Ward is it again? Yup, dragged him all the way kicking and screaming out of Oakland they did for this. He can’t even make the cut for the main supporting bout of the night anymore, just pitiful. His heart must be buried in that big load sagging his shorts for this farce, but it’s his career to fritter away, so be it.

Oh, yes and oh, no, so now he can’t even glove it up for his TBA after having a knee problem, so looks like Mr. TBA will just have to wait until 2016 to find Ward in a ring…maybe. What a loss to TBA boxing!

So enter yet another faint hearted P4P poser added to the undercard, Guillermo Rigondeaux , reportedly fighting a last minute TBA, Drian Francisco. World P4P rated by Haymon/Golden Boy News of the Ring Word and still fighting TBAs is it? Such is the fainthearted nature of boxing these days.

As to the otherworldly compelling main event, I strongly favor Canelo. Cotto’s older brother, also named Miguel, managed to rock the teenaged Canelo, slumping him for maybe a second before he recovered quickly to blast the senior Cotto to smithereens shortly thereafter, so could be Cotto has some younger brother payback working here his motivation. Even in his losses, nobody ever had an easy time against Cotto who has added significant caginess to his game to compensate for his fall from the absolute top of his prime. Problem being that Canelo is immensely stronger and even more experienced than Cotto by now, yet still very young and fresh. Simply put, he’s never been beat up. However, trying to walk through Cotto from the gitgo may well be the equivalent of trying to walk through a truck, so I expect Canelo to take his time warming into the fight as a boxer as does Cotto. Then all Hell gets unleashed for the finale.

Yes Sir, Freddie Roach has got Cotto boxing smarter than ever, and Canelo is a high level boxer, so this should be a traditional, high level stakes, aggressive, ring centered boxing display with plenty of applied hurt and heart. Neither comes out completely unscathed in this one, yet the fans may count themselves lucky to remember where they were on this monumental night if the fight is as good as is hoped.

 

The Greatest Ever, Ali Raymi~R.I.P.

Sadly, the most ironic, deadly, and comical boxer in the modern game, Ali Raymi, age 41, has passed away in the civil war ravaged Yemen.

The Greatest Ever The Greatest Ever, like his rival, The Best Ever, Floyd Mayweather Jr, who fights exclusively at MGM Floyd while rotating his stock of selected officials, Raymi fought exclusively in Yemen against Yemeni fighters using Yemeni officials. Fruitlessly he called out international champs Roman Gonzalez and Guillermo Rigondeaux to come and fight him. Perhaps most notably was the way he utterly gutted the anti-social media misanthropes on their own forums with such original pearls of belittlement and disdain that they too fell hard to the dazzling display of brillance Raymi displayed in and out of the ring.

Ali compiled a 25-0, 25 KO record during the 4 years that he fought, finally winning the Universal Boxing Organization light flyweight title in a legendary 4 fight series against Prince Maz. His was not a pretty style, it was simple savagery refined with relentless blunt force conditioning. He gave no quarter and in the end, armed terrorists gave him no quarter. R.I.P.

Sweet Revenge? Vic Darchinyan vs Nonito Donaire

Say what you will about Vic Darchinyan being the prototypical Aussie bullyboy, but he never gave up wanting to rematch his first career loss to Nonito Donaire, a devastating highlight reel knockout  for the ages. The rematch will be Saturday, November 9th in Corpus Christi, Texas. This will also be something of a comeback fight for Donaire who suddenly went from being the toasted P4P darling in the fashion of fellow Filipino Manny Pacquiao to boxing’s “Who knows ya and wadda ya done lately kid?”

First Meeting

First Meeting

Darchinyan was a tiger at 28-0, 22 KO who had the boxing world by the throat going into that first Donaire fight. He left the fight in tatters after scary minutes on the canvas in recovery from Donaire’s perfect counter left hook. Raging Bull was born to fight though and has been in against top competition since then, as good as any fighter currently operating, but things didn’t always go his way as his current 39-5-1 record attests. Yet that sole KO loss burned ever so brightly as a brand on his soul that he had a fever to avenge, so finally, here we are.

As to the recent Donaire downfall, he mysteriously fell apart during the leadup before his last fight, a dastardly loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux. Reports had him being mostly self trained with Robert Garcia phoning in a some instructions before compounding his dissolution by divorcing his BALCO associated physical trainer Victor Conte. Reduced boxing preparations on top of being  deprived of those secret magic potions left Donaire very vulnerable with his expectant wife as his only soulmate going into a difficult fight. Indeed, the focus in interviews seemed to be Donaire’s preoccupation with the development of his son and his wife’s health, not his chosen profession.

He looked foolish trying to chase down the rapidly fleeing Rigondeaux as any fighter might appear and was additionally ill prepared for those moments when it came time to trade punches. Though he came to held his own as he adapted to the wily Rigondeaux, he was well off his 2012 Fighter of the Year form. In the 10th round insult would be added to injury when he wasn’t credited by referee Benjy Esteves Jr. with two clean consecutive knockdowns that would have put him up on the two close cards with more impetus going into the last two rounds. Instead he was only credited with one knockdown and completely gave up the last round to protect his damaged eye.

To add intrigue to this rematch, Donaire has recently made amends with his dad who happened to be in his corner when he avenged the brutal loss by his brother Glenn to Darchinyan. A nasty dispute later separated the family as the Nonito star ascended, but now Dad is splitting duties with Garcia in the lead up to the rematch. How the “co-training” works for Nonito is unknown, however on his worst night Donaire could have won his last fight but for poor circumstances, thus he will be the odds on favorite.

Darchinyan may be near the end of his career at almost 38 years of age, but he recently signed a deal with Top Rank to make this fight, so it’s impossible to measure the boost that this opportunity may bring him. He operates out of an awkward lobster like southpaw style and it’s not like he has ever been terribly outclassed in the ring save that thunderous night against Donaire.

Now both are in a different place looking a bit vulnerable, but you can bet on seeing a genuine fight.

VADA/Conte/Donaire vs USADA/Rigondeaux for the Cleaner Than Thou Crown

Nonito Donaire will be fighting Cuban Olympic Gold Medal legend Guillermo Rigondeaux at Radio City Music Hall in New York City this Saturday, April 13th. On paper, Rigondeaux has no chance but a puncher’s chance, and he’s not a big puncher though he is a skilled and shifty boxer. The bottom line is that he’s too small and still on a professional learning curve, a baby as it were.

Filipino vs Cuban

Filipino vs Cuban

Nonetheless, the boxing world has been agaga over Cuban Olympic boxers even though most of them simply never got further than where Rigondeaux is, a WBA strap holder for a short while with few wins of any significance on his ledger, currently a mere 11-0, 8 KO, with 59 pro rounds in the bank. His achievements are certainly admirable at a certain level, but nowhere near the top mark that  Cubans typically seem to think they rank. The best of the modern Cuban pro boxers has to be Juan Carlos Gomez, the well credentialed cruiserweight champ and heavyweight contender, yet he had numerous personal issues that set him back, including disputes with managers and promoters, drug use, suspensions, lack of training.

Most noteworthy is that Cuban fighters didn’t get rich like they were promised when they were lured into the pro game. Few want to see them box save some few other Cubans and the ever diminishing remnants of boxing aficionados due to their boring, light punching amateur styles, often showing no heart or guts in the ring and needing plenty of referee intervention and dubious points decisions to keep them going.

It’s always a nice promotional PR stunt with a lot of political push when they get signed, Fidel Castro giving up ever more of his tired, his poor, and his hungry, capitalism starved fighters to come to America to set the world afire, but then? Into the virtual void of “Who Cares” they go.

The reasoning behind making this specific bout is that of convenience, both fighters being promoted by Top Rank, both highly rated, and both in need of a “big” fight, particularly Rigondeaux who has somewhat languished in spite of his heralded amateur success and obvious talents. Donaire  is wanting to silence the unceasing hordes of moaning critics littering the antisocial internet who insist he has been ducking the Cuban, the Mexican, the (insert nationality of your choice here).

In spite of  the positives for making the fight within Top Rank, it almost didn’t come off after stalling too many times to keep up with. Frankly, Rigondeaux  hasn’t looked pleased that he finally landed his signature big bout, perhaps upset with his manager and promoter and his purse, but that has been a longstanding problem with too many Cuban stars. Pro boxing is a cutthroat business and few pro fighters are pampered like the Cubans were used to in Cuba. Fighters in America have to be a star attraction to achieve the pamper level that Cubans were massaged with under the Castro regime.

Rigondeaux can last the 12 round distance if he shows up to spoil and run, but he won’t improve his future earnings with that strategy, see Timothy Bradley for how that works. He’s has to risk going out on his shield and really taking to Donaire in a controlled, clever way, fighting at a level much higher than he ever had to before.

Does Rigondeaux have the desire and the will to endure the big hurt Donaire is guaranteed to hit him with? Does he have the creativity and natural attributes to come up with a strategy that can really take it to Donaire offensively while protecting himself defensively?

Nobody knows what Rigondeaux has in him yet, not even Rigo, but wait, there’s the hope of a new development coming into this fight for him.

Donaire may somehow be weakened after the divorce from his ex-con BALCO trainer, Victor Conte. His tap of the majic swill elixirs that turn run of the mill store clerks into supermen able to leap over multiple divisions and rated fighters with a single bound has been turned off. Donaire may be in his Clark Kent mode for this fight.

Yes, folks, the sad truth is the boxing business has welcomed discredited trainers from the BALCO illicit performance drug operations that netted multiple felony convictions into their sordid, unseemly fold, a perfect fit if you study up on the history of boxing. Indeed, these n’er do well PED pushers have wormed their slimy hooks into top ranked fighter training camps everywhere. New supermen have been resurrected in the form of Nonito Donaire, Andre Ward, Andre Berto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Jorge Arce, Zab Judah, Brandon Rios, and too many others to keep up with. Give Conte and his hunched assistant Angel “Memo” Heredia your sickly, anemic, low testosterone count weaklings and voila, Showtime and HBO will come calling with big money in hand just to see their newly hulked out frames do a cartoon style seek and destroy on their opponent.

Currently we have WADA, VADA, NADA, and USADA all vying for a piece of the drug testing pie as slimy illicit drug testing cartel business operations merge with the sleaze of boxing. Do a web search on the dirty drug testing business after the recent upset by Sam Soliman over long time WBA middleweight champ Felix Sturm to see dozens of sordid press releases and updates all these many weeks later as both parties sling back and forth the kind of stuff you see slung by apes in zoos, and this just one fight!

One thing is for sure, these little banties are gonna be blood dripped bone dry in a head to head fight between VADA and USADA to see which operation is the sleaziest in the land. Nonito Donaire was extracted minutes before an early morning sparring session for example.

What kind of idiotic program is that?

Regardless, the new news is the same as the old news of hundreds of years prior with new fighters taking the most risks being ill advised or otherwise set up by neferious boxing “advisors.” The human condition never changes.

Ahem….is the time ripe for old school Panama Lewis glove tampering cheats to make a return to even up the balance on the PED ledger, ya think?

Mexican vs Filipino Déjà vu–Jorge Arce vs Nonito Donaire

Nonito “Filipino Flash” Donaire defends his WBO junior featherweight crown against Jorge “Travieso” Arce Saturday, December 15 at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Not sure what the thinking is by having this fight in Houston other than a good deal on the venue and enough fight fans in the megapolis to raise some ruckus at the gate. Plenty of Mexicanos around the Houston area and Arce has become something of a Mexican legend as one of the most active, all action, big slugging fighters of his era, 61-6-2, 46 KO. His dizzying title record is 24-4 in 5 different weight classes as he keeps on keeping on a roll.

Now he’s queued up against a Ring P4Per and Filipino legend in the making, Nonito Donaire who is coming off a spectacular win over Japanese legend, Toshiaki Nishioka, knocking him down twice before the TKO stoppage. For purists, it started as a cautious cat and mouse game as Donaire switched to the orthodox stance to carefully pile up points on the puzzled Nishoka who cautiously avoided whatever trap Donaire was trying to set. Then they started to trade which lead to the 1st knockdown, a beautiful left hook to the body followed by a left uppercut that put the Japanese champion down. Nishioka easily beat the count and continued to pick his own big shots, but to no avail. After knocking Donaire into the ropes, he rushed in for the finish and was caught by a picture perfect short right hand, and that was that when he got up unsteady and his corner waved the white towel of surrender.

With only 31 fights and still fresh from his stylish boxer/puncher form at age 30, it stands to reason that Donaire, 30-1, 19 KO will be the big favorite over the aging Arce who has 70 really tough mano a mano fights on his odometer at 33 years of age.

What could prove troublesome is that Donaire will be only two months removed from his last fight, a dangerous scheduling move against the big punching Arce who has defied dwindling expectations before with big knockouts. Most recently he knocked highly regarded Wilfredo Vazquez Jr stupid last year for the stoppage and his 5th title whereas Donaire struggled to a split decision win over Vazquez to open this year. Donaire then endured a bruising battle against the huge Jeffrey Mathebula before the Nishioka fight, so oddly enough he may not be as fresh as Arce who has fought lower tier opposition this year, an easy year for him so far.

Of course Donaire can easily box and move Arce around to win on points, but this kid has big money dreams and wants to look spectacular, thus the inherent danger in this bout.

Perhaps even more dangerous is Donaire’s use of convicted BALCO felon, Victor Conte, who has him on some two dozen various pills and concoctions to be downed at timed intervals during the day. When Conte’s other client, Andre Berto tested positive for trace steroids, well, rats are always the first to jump sinking vessels and Conte was nowhere to be found to stick up for his client.

It would be a major shame if Donaire became tarnished because of this association, but it is what it is and such is the current state of boxing with another BALCO drug peddler, Angel Heredia AKA Angel Hernandez, training Juan Manuel Marquez who has taken some considerable stick over his newly ripped musculature. He also works with Arce, begging the questions.

Shouldn’t these new age witch doctors of alchemy be forced to register the contents of these newly created snake oils transforming this new breed of supermen? Could the trainers pass WADA/VADA/USADA drug testing? How about the honchos that run the myriad of boxing orgs and promotions, could they? The media? The fans? The testers?

The short answer is, “No.”

CANCELLED-PK fail medical>>>-The undercard is a boxing purist dream come true with Cuban Olympic Boxing legend Guillermo Rigondeaux, 11-0, 8 KO, goes against a modern Thai legend, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, 48-2, 33 KO, a classic example of when numbers can lie absent context. Rigondeaux is a two time Olympic gold medalist with some 400 amateur fights to add on to his spare 59 professional rounds boxed and 5 WBA superbanty title wins. Kratingdaenggym was matched hard from his pro start in the very competitive Thai boxing system with too many PABA and other regional title bouts to count, but also sporting a 4-1 record of the belt that Rigondeaux currently owns to go with his 339 pro rounds.

CANCELLED-PK fail medical>>>-Two more contrasting systems in the boxing world cannot be found, and now they’ll be clashing. Smart money is on Rigondeaux who will be the money fighter in his newly adopted homeland, so it’s up to Kratingdaenggym to take the fight to him and either show substantial class over him and still risk losing the decision, or knock him cold, the closest thing to a guaranteed win in sports which makes boxing in a class unto itself.

Santa really did come early to December in the boxing world with too many good and great matchups to count, not the least of which was the Pacquiao/Marquez shocker that knocked the known universe into a wobble on it’s axis. Now we reprise another classic Mexican vs Filipino matchup, a great way for boxing to close out the year for a change, so cheers to that and bottoms up, it’s déjà all over again!