I would like to discuss some matches for another highly skilled and underappreciated boxer today.
Guillermo Rigondeaux 18-1 (12 KOs)
Guillermo Rigondeaux is a boxer that I have thoroughly enjoyed watching over the years. He is a highly skilled boxer who has the punching power to accommodate the technical gifts. He has a solid and balanced stance that allows him to be in proper position at all times. He doesn’t move much, but he doesn’t really need to. He can make the opponent pay when they attempt to move in and usually works at his own pace. I have no idea why this man has gotten so much flack for being boring to watch. Anybody who can’t respect the talent that this man has, just clearly doesn’t understand the objective of boxing. I understand that he doesn’t throw a hundred punches per round and he doesn’t use his chin as a punching bag, but for me Rigondeaux is phenomenal to watch.
Guillermo Rigondeaux is either one of the most ducked boxers that I have seen, or his management team is just trash. There have been so many opportunities to create great matchups for him in the past and there still is. If somebody can’t put together some good bouts for him, then I guess I will have to just fantasize and create my own, so here we go.
#1 Matchup: Carl Frampton 26-2 (15 KOs)
“The Jackals Collide”. This a great matchup between two top quality veterans. Carl Frampton is coming off of a loss to Josh Warrington in which he looked like he was a little “past it”, or he just wasn’t that interested in being there that night. He even kind of sounded like he might have been considering retirement in the post-fight interview. This fight would be a very technical bout with Frampton probably trying to be the more active of the two, yet Rigondeaux would be waiting to counter and make him pay for any mistake. Both men are seemingly nearing the end of their respective careers and this could be a great one to put on for both of their legacies. It would also show which of them is a top five-ish contender in the featherweight division. Frampton is a smaller featherweight and could probably still drop down to 122 if need be, but I think it would be just fine to let them schedule this as a featherweight bout, considering they are both smaller guys anyways, yet both getting older.
#2 Matchup: Gary Russell Jr. 29-1 (17 KOs)
This would be a great match between two former highly decorated amateurs. Both of these men have only lost once and it was to the same opponent. That of course was Mister Vasiliy Lomachenko, which everybody should know is a top pound-for-pound king. This would probably not be the most interesting bout for most casual fans, as neither one of them throw a lot of punches. However, from a technical chess match stand point, I think many boxing enthusiasts would love to see this. Whenever Russell decides to get with the program and sign up for these bigger marquee matchups, then maybe this fight could happen after we finally get him and Santa Cruz together to decide a clear number one at featherweight. If not, this will suit just fine for me in the meantime.
#3 Matchup: Leo Santa Cruz 36-1-1 (19 KOs)
This would be a tough test for Rigondeaux. This would prove how he could deal with the younger guy going after him. Santa Cruz would clearly be the more active, but Rigondeaux would be waiting to take advantage of the opportunities that Santa Cruz allows for with his fairly open defense that can be exploited by a crafty veteran. Whether Rigondeaux has enough power to hurt Santa Cruz when he does hit him is a big factor in the outcome of the fight. This bout would allow Guillermo the opportunity to prove that he is still a championship level boxer. If he pulled off the win, he would be considered the number one, or number two in the featherweight division.
#4 Matchup: Rey Vargas 33-0 (22 KOs)
Rey Vargas is a very tall, lanky guy with long arms. Like I have stated before, I am not to fond of the excessive amount of weight classes, especially at the smaller weights. I think Vargas should just move up to 126 to provide more competition at 126, but if he didn’t, him and Rigondeaux can get together to prove who is the best at 122. Vargas can provide a tough obstacle for the Jackal due to his body size and boxing ability from range. Guillermo would test Rey’s chin and might be able to catch him with a clean shot while Vargas is off balance like Manzanilla did. Whether this took place at 122 or 126 doesn’t really make a difference to me, as long as it happened either way.
#5 Matchup: Naoya Inoue 17-0 (15 KOs)
The young monster on the rise. This would be an awesome matchup between two of the best in their divisions. Inoue is the young bully boogeyman and Rigondeaux is the old man who would be looking to provide a good quality spanking to this young whippersnapper. Inoue looks like a beefy bantamweight and will probably continue to move quickly to higher weight classes. He is the same height as Guillermo. This bout would probably be perfect to get signed after Inoue finishes his duties for the World Boxing Super Series Bantamweight Tournament and Rigondeaux has a chance to go for a shot at the best at either the 122 pound or 126 pounds.