This Saturday, Guillermo Rigondeaux meets John Riel Casimero in a meaningful matchup that will add to both men’s resumes. An up and down pro career for Casimero is currently on the rise as his popularity on the hardcore boxing scene has grown. On the other hand, Rigondeaux hasn’t gotten the credit he truly deserves, and funny enough, ever since he has become more entertaining to a certain group, now those folks are excited for these two to tangle. This card will be broadcasted on Showtime and streamed live on the SHO App.
Taking a trip down memory lane of Guillermo Rigondeaux in the professional ranks starts all the way back to May 2009. In his 7th fight, Rigondeaux had his hands full versus Ricardo Cordoba. Cordoba’s length made for a difficult night at the office, as evident from the split-decision win for Rigo. However, quality victories over unbeaten boxers Willie Casey and Rico Ramos and two more wins put Guillermo in prime position.
On April 13th, 2013, Rigondeaux took on his toughest test by far in the pound for pound boxer Nonito Donaire. Rigo came in as the underdog on the betting lines, but once the first bell rang, it was clear Donaire was in for a frustrating night. That previous year Nonito had won the ‘Fighter of the year’ award and, for a good reason, was placed among the top-5 in the sport. That night Rigo boxed beautifully over long stretches of the bout. Able to outwit and out-quick the supposed more talented fighter in Donaire. Most of the crisp and flush lead or counters shots were landed by Rigondeaux, continually snapping the neck back of the perceived favorite. Donaire did manage to gain some momentum in the latter part of the fight, even dropping Rigo, but it wasn’t enough to change the tide completely.
A night that should have been a coming-out party for Rigo instead turned into a bash party mostly from large fractions of media. Even his co-promoter Bob Arum disgustingly disparaged him. This boxing podcaster realizes most boxing fans don’t like an outside boxer as much as they love a brawler willing to risk defense for offense. The ironic thing was heading into that fight; although Donaire had given fans some flashy and nasty knockouts, let’s not forget he also had some stinkers that saw him poking and prodding from the outside looking for one big shot.
Rigondeaux’s most high-profile fight came from a large ESPN post-Heisman Trophy Ceremony broadcast against Vasiliy Lomachenko. Rigo succumbed to his beating by sitting on his stool, suffering the first loss of his career. Obviously, ‘Quitting’ is almost unforgiving in the sport of boxing. Still, it must be noted Rigo did move from 122 skipping featherweight and headed up to the 130-division, a much more comfortable weight for Lomachenko. To be fair, they were reports that Guillermo had turned down a Loma fight at a lower weight class. Now Rigondeaux is back a more suitable weight of 118, and even in his advanced age, he’s still a legit threat.
In walks John Riel Casimero, a fighter whose stock has gone up in recent years on account of him making a fun fight and knockout power. It’s hard to believe Casimero has been a pro since 2007, running up his record to 14-0. Two losses in a row to Ramon Hirales and Moruti Mthalane would slow Casimero down but not for long. Rattling off 7 straight wins led to about versus the undefeated Amnat Ruenroeng, to whom he lost a close decision in a rough-and-tumble affair. Casimero came up big in the rematch scoring a knockout in the 4th round. John Riel Casimero would go on to be out-boxed by a lesser-known opponent Jonas Sultan, but to his credit, he strung together another 6 victories, all but 1 by stoppage. The highs now have him in his biggest fight. His lows had him hiding under in ring in Argentina to escape a riot.
From a style perspective, this one will likely take a few rounds for both men to feel each other fully. Casimero has an aggressive offensive mindset; however, don’t expect him to come out guns a-blazing. Even facing solid guys to excellent boxers doesn’t compare to what Rigo will bring to the table. And in many of his recent outings, Casimero has used his outside game, at least in the early goings. As the years have piled up on Guillermo, his legs and constant movement have been featured less and less to the point, we’ve seen Rigo stand and trade on the inside. This should be fan-friendly and very competitive once the possibly slower than expected fight starts to get into the middle rounds.
Casimero has an awkward, at times, bouncy stance possessing quick feet, which he will need to move in and out using angles to make Rigo think, not just react. Casimero loves to throw combinations once warmed up, but he tends to load up on his shots, so his punches don’t come in a rapid-fire, more like one-much at a time, one after another. Headhunting should be a no-no for Casimero, along with lunging/jumping with his power shots, something he does with his right hands too often. Casimero’s feet are his best defense; otherwise, he tends to keep his hands low and get hit in exchanges. If Casimero is patience yet still active on offense and makes sure not to ignore the body totally, he will have a great chance of getting his hands raised.
Unless father rears his ugly face, look for Rigondeaux to land to cleaner, more eye-catching punches. Yes, Rigo’s legs and speed, both foot, and hand, is not where it was a chunk of years ago. However, at the end of the night, timing, accuracy, and counter-punching will overwhelm and frustrate Casimero into making too many mistakes.
My Official Prediction is Guillermo Rigondeaux by Majority-Decision.
Side Note: The Showtime card is an interesting test for prospects looking to turn full-fledged contender Antonio Russell vs. Emmanuel Rodriguez. Plus, DAZN has Vergil Ortiz Jr. vs. Egidijus Kavaliauskas and
Joshua Franco vs. Andrew Moloney 3 is on ESPN.
Written by Chris Carlson Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio & TheGruelingTruth.Com Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio