THERE is something special about Guillermo Rigondeaux, even it feels like an age since we saw him at his best.
The Cuban was a phenomenal amateur. He has twice won Olympic gold medals and subsequently raced to a world title as a professional. An unmatched counterpuncher he dismantled Nonito Donaire to unify the WBO and WBA world super-bantamweight titles. That victory though came to haunt him. Clearly one of the most difficult boxers to beat in the sport he has been forced to ply his trade in Macau and Japan, only returning to the USA last year, for his solitary contest of 2015, a drab points win over Drian Francisco in Las Vegas.
Rigondeaux has also had to endure the indignity of being stripped of his WBA title then reinstated, all without a meaningful fight.
Liverpool’s James “Jazza” Dickens however has no fear of the masterful Cuban. A hefty underdog he certainly is – Jazza has not performed at world level before. He has been halted by Kid Galahad, though rebuilt to win the British title. However he eagerly stepped up to the challenge, in fact it was Rigondeaux who left him in the lurch earlier this year when they were meant to box only for the Cuban to fail to procure a visa. Now however Rigondeaux is finally coming to the UK. He’ll box Dickens on the big bill in Cardiff on Saturday (July 16) and it’s a fascinating prospect. Rigondeaux is unreadable, vilified in his homeland, unloved in America but still without equal. Or at least so it seems. His inactivity however makes you wonder. Is age starting to catch up with him? Is he starting to slip?
He still looks fast though. Watch him below: