TOMORROW night, in Macau, China, the world will again get to see one of the sport’s finest plying his trade. Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux defends his WBA and WBO super-bantamweight titles against Thailand’s Sod Looknongyantoy.
Here’s what the fighters had to say ahead of battle:
“I had a 10-week training camp with George Rubio where we focused on honing my combinations and power punching. I am taking nothing for granted with Looknongyantoy. He has an impressive record and he is a smart fighter.
“I intend to give UniMás and its boxing audience a great show. I plan to be more aggressive to be more impressive. But let me make this clear, I have been a world champion and an Olympic gold medalist for one reason – I do not make mistakes in the ring. I fight my fight, not my opponents’ fights. In baseball, great hitters do not swing at bad pitches.
“Hard training and discipline are my greatest assets as a fighter. I am dedicated to being the best boxer in the world and perfecting my technique. I am always the last man out of the gym in training camp. I never weigh more than 129 pounds between fights.
“I feel great and I think I can keep fighting at this elite level for many more years because I have never taken any punishment in the ring.
“I am frustrated that the two other champions in my division – Leo Santa Cruz and Kiko Martinez – will not step up to fight me in title unifications to determine the true world champion. I do not understand that mindset. How do you not want to prove you are the best? I do. Nonito Donaire did when we fought in our title unification battle in New York last year. The fans deserve better from Santa Cruz and Martinez. The media should be holding them accountable. A real champion fights and accepts the challenges from the best in his division. Back in the day, world champions accepted the top challenges. I get criticized by the media for my style of fighting. Maybe the media should be criticizing the champions who deny the fights boxing fans crave?”
“I have eight years of Muay Thai fighting experience, including over 400 victories. That has helped me to become a good boxer. I bring vast experience and intelligence.
“I trained hard for this fight. I trained to fight the perfect fight because that is what it will take to beat Rigondeaux. I do not fear him.
“I am up to the challenge. I am prepared to defeat Rigondeaux. I am ready to become world champion.”