Guillermo Rigondeaux believes his vast boxing pedigree will prove too much when he meets WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, on August 14.
The Cuban maestro, who holds the WBA Regular belt, steps back in to face Casimero after originally moving aside to allow the Filipino to unify against compatriot and WBC title holder Nonito Donaire in a more marketable fight. When Donaire withdrew after taking exception to comments made about his wife, manager and trainer Rachel, Rigondeaux was drafted back in.
Veteran Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KOs & 1 NC) may now be 40, but he’s backing his elite ringcraft to prevail in four weeks’ time.
“This is a big fight for me and my team because we have a chance to win that WBO title,” said Rigondeaux. “Although I’ve been out of the ring for well over a year, I’m still in great shape and have plans to ruin Casimero’s dreams.
“I know he has a lot of power, but he’s fighting a man with excellent boxing skills and a high ring IQ. I’m going to box circles around Casimero and show him what ‘El Chacal’ [‘The Jackal’] is all about. My trainer Ronnie Shields and I have been working on some new tricks, so don’t be surprised if I knock him out.”
Three-division champion Casimero (30-4, 21 KOs) says he is aiming to bring Rigondeaux’s illustrious career to a close.
“I look forward to defending my title against Guillermo Rigondeaux,” added Casimero. “Rigondeaux is known to a lot of Filipino fans for beating my fellow countryman Nonito Donaire. I will show the boxing world how to beat Rigondeaux and send him into retirement once and for all.”
Also on the card, Gary Antonio Russell, brother of WBC featherweight king Gary Russell, will meet former IBF king Emmanuel Rodríguez for the WBA Interim 118lbs belt whilst ex-world champion Rau’shee Warren faces Damien Vázquez in a 10-round match-up of bantamweight contenders.
Main image: Amanda Westcott/Showtime.