Go Go, Go Rigo Go

By Robert Ecksel on December 31, 2014
Go Go, Go Rigo Go
The formerly untouchable Guillermo Rigondeaux got more than he bargained for in Osaka.

Rigo traveled halfway around the world to fight the fight of his life—and finally received the respect he deserves…

Earlier today at the Bodymaker Colosseum, in Osaka, Japan, Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0, 10 KOs), aka El Chacal (The Jackal), from Miami by way of Santiago de Cuba, successfully defended his WBA/WBO super bantamweight titles by stopping Hisashi Amagasa (28-5-2, 19 KOs), from Ota, Gunma, Japan, forcing his corner to call it quits at the end of round 11.

After having being dissed by his former promoter, Top Rank’s Bob Arum; dissed by HBO; dissed by the amen choir of boxing writers and fans as being “boring,” as though excellence could ever be boring; Rigo traveled halfway around the world to fight the fight of his life—and finally received the respect he deserves.

The formerly untouchable Rigondeaux, fighting out of the red corner in gold and silver trunks, got more than he bargained for in Osaka. Amagasa, fighting out of the blue corner in white trunks trimmed in blue, was riding a four-year, 13-fight win streak and fought like an upset was a real possibility.

One wouldn’t know it, however, based on the first half of the fight. Even though the 5’10½” Amagasa towered over the 5’4” Rigondeaux, the disparity in height and reach posed few problems for the champ. Rigo used his elevated boxing skills, relying on timing, distance, combination punching and his southpaw stance to pretty much have his way with the challenger. 

Amagasa had his moments. In the fifth round, after a three-punch combination drove the Japanese fighter to the ropes, which Rigo followed with a straight left, Amagasa gestured as if to say, “Bring it on,” and landed a hard right to the Cuban’s forehead. Rigondeaux was stunned and held on. He kept his distance for almost a minute, giving him time for his head to clear, before landing a straight right at the bell.

It almost all came apart in round seven. Rigo was moving and punching, punching and moving, landing his straight left upstairs and down. Suddenly Amagasa landed the right hand he’d been hoping to land all night and the champion dropped to the canvas as if shot. Amagasa ran to the corner, climbed up the ring ropes, and raised his hands in victory. It was dramatic, if not premature. But Rigondeaux was hurt. He managed to get his feet. Whether he still knew his name is open to debate. Rigo held on for dear life. Amagasa was able to extricate himself and land another right. Helped by a push, the Cuban went down a second time and was saved by the bell.

Amagasa smelled blood at the start of the eighth. He figured, perhaps correctly, that one more punch would seal Rigo’s fate. But that one punch never came. Rigondeaux was cautious, at least at first, and somewhat slower than he had been before he touched down. But his skills prevailed. He took control of the fight again. He dropped Amagasa in round 10, which had turned into target practice, and continued to beat the living daylights out of him in the 11th and final round.

It was a good fight. At times it was a competitive fight. Rigo got nailed, hit the deck, and came back from adversity to force the stoppage. He has defensive liabilities. He is not a perfect fighter. But to start calling him “chinny” is the same as calling him “boring.”

The Jackal, despite the fact that he keeps winning, just cannot win.

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リゴンドーvs天笠尚 1~4R Guillermo Rigondeaux vs hisashi amagasa

リゴンドーvs天笠尚 5~8R  Guillermo Rigondeaux vs hisashi amagasa

リゴンドーvs天笠尚 9~11R Guillermo Rigondeaux vs hisashi amagasa

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  1. Galvar 08:00am, 01/04/2015

    Rigo is overrated.  He holds opponents on the back of the head then punches them.  Not sure how legal that is.  His defense consists of running and/or dipping so low you can only hit the back of his head punching down.  He also holds a lot.  Finally, his chin is questionable.  Yes, he gets up after being knocked down but so did Gamboa until he met Crawford who just kept knocking him down.  If he meets Walters it’d be like Crawford/Gamboa.

  2. Carlos 01:28pm, 01/02/2015

    Rigondeaux is great boxer and a great fighter. The reason he is not fighting in the U.S. Is because the fighters in his weight class don’t want to fight him and two, the promoters are protecting their fighters from fighting Rigondeaux. I saw Rigondeaux teach Donaire a boxing lesson, and I felt that he provided a great show. I enjoyed watching Rigondeaux fight and box.  I for one will never purchase any more pay per view fights until the best fighters start fighting the best fighters out there.

  3. AKT 02:28am, 01/02/2015

    @eemsell I agree. The well written article exaggerates the intensity of Rigo being knocked down. The first knock down was more a case of his being off-balance.

  4. eemsell 12:56pm, 01/01/2015

    The video belies your description of the knockdowns.

  5. Eduardo gomez 09:43am, 01/01/2015

    Rigo doesn’t receive the respect he deserve nobody wants to fight him i would like to see lomachenko both two times olympian gold champions

  6. andrew 08:17am, 01/01/2015

    It’s great to read an article which provides a clear and concise description of the actual fight.

  7. Snerve 05:12am, 01/01/2015

    It’s true that Rigo was dropped hard with the right hand in the 7th but to say that “he managed to get to his feet” insinuates that he struggled. That’s an exaggeration. He stood up and kept his composure. The second ‘knock down’ was an MMA takedown, and Rigo argued with the ref, clearly unhurt. Then you say he “managed to survive the round”. Journalistic hyperbole of note.

  8. Snerve 05:07am, 01/01/2015


  9. IF 03:34am, 01/01/2015

    Rigo is being forced to move up. The whole game is against him,he is too good for his weight, his handlers are to weak for his career. Walters will run right into his punches with no fear of the smaller man. Lomo will attempt to outbox him and get shutout. They will be kissing his tail then.

  10. Swan 06:50pm, 12/31/2014

    Well yeah, lomachenko and walters might beat him; Rigondeaux is already pushing it, in terms of weight to be where he is at, those guy are a lot bigger than him.

  11. Caryn A. Tate 06:16pm, 12/31/2014

    I loved this fight! Rigo is a great fighter who, like many greats, doesn’t get the respect or the fights he deserves. Hopefully now that he’s revealed he’s human, that will change! Great write up Robert.

  12. Darrell 05:13pm, 12/31/2014

    Like RIgo and liked the fight.  He didn’t look particularly troubled after the knockdowns, thought the second was more a faceslam than anything, and he proceeded to smash the shit out of Amagasa in round 8.  Was a little more circumspect in round 9 but closed it out strongly.

    Can’t say who would win out of Rigo, Lomachenko & Walters but fights between all three would be of the highest class.

  13. Koolz 03:00pm, 12/31/2014

    I don’t really think too high of Rigo.  Just me I guess. 
    See what is other fight in japan is like.

  14. IF 12:06pm, 12/31/2014

    Rigo KOs Walters style and outbox Lomo worst than Donaire.

  15. Clarence George 11:33am, 12/31/2014

    Yes, Rigo, please go.  Sorry, couldn’t resist.  I actually respect the guy, though I don’t much care for his technique, which is more fencing than boxing.  But perhaps he’s turned a corner?  I didn’t see this fight, but it sounds considerably more entertaining than his usual fare.

  16. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 10:25am, 12/31/2014

    Walters KOs Rigo and Lomachenko beats him like a drum….don’t look for these matches to be made anytime soon though…...not by the hair of his chinny,chin,chin….all credit and respect to Amagasa for making the fight.

  17. Eric 09:35am, 12/31/2014

    You should see the other guy. Damn, that looks nasty.

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