GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX, dressed in spangly golden trainers and matching t-shirt, is preparing to dazzle the boxing world on Saturday night when he takes on Drian Francisco in Las Vegas. The immensely talented Cuban has endured 11 months to forget, as television networks rejected him, opponents refused to challenge him and ultimately, the WBA and WBO stripped him of their super-bantamweight titles for inactivity.
“To the rest of the super-bantamweights out there with belts, beware because I am coming for them,” said Rigondeaux. “I’m coming for all the belts and I am going to destroy them all. I am the real champion. And everyone knows it. If you want to step in the ring with me, to prove it, let’s do it. It’s up to the fans to demand it from their champion to step up and get in the ring with me. They can run, but they can’t hide.”
Francisco admits he’s the underdog but his plans to derail Rigondeaux’s comeback convinced no one that an upset was nigh.
“This is my chance to shine but I know it’s going to be a tough fight for me,” the Filipino said about the 10-rounder that will support the massive Miguel Cotto-Canelo Alvarez showdown. “Rigondeaux is one of the best boxers in the world. I will give 100 per cent for my family and my future.”
Rigondeaux – now 35 – is also focused on the future, and it’s one that stretches long past his next opponent.
“Once I’m done with Francisco, I’m ready to fight everyone else,” Rigondeaux said. “My energy after that will be spent winning all my belts back. I don’t need to say I am the best. I demonstrate it. I will fight anyone at my weight.
“I would like to thank Roc Nation Sports for the opportunity. I’m really happy to be a part of the Roc Nation family now. Signing with Roc Nation has been the best decision I have made. They are capable of taking my career to the next level. It’s what I need to stay active in the ring and give the fans what they want. I appreciate all the fans coming out today. The preparation is done and I’m ready to get in the ring and give the fans a show.
“I’m a very good boxer. And I’m always going to be ready for the next fight. And the fans are going to see that I can put on a show every time. Get ready to see what’s coming next.”