Rigondeaux vs. Flores: Power is in the Puncher

By Caryn A. Tate on June 17, 2017
Rigondeaux vs. Flores: Power is in the Puncher
"El Chacal" “showed” his opponent his punches before he let them go. (John Locher/AP)

Rigondeaux proved—yet again—that he is a masterful boxer, simply one of the best in the world, and is a joy to see in the ring…

WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux (17-0, 11 KOs) fought out of the black corner in red and black trunks and looked ready for business. His challenger, interim titleholder Moises “Chucky” Flores (25-0, 17 KOs) fought out of the red corner wearing white, green and red trunks in the colors of Mexico. True to form, Rigondeaux several times “showed” his opponent his punches before he let them go, and still landed them. But Flores was tenacious and kept trying.

At the end of the first round, the fighters got into a heated exchange. Rigondeaux landed a beautiful clean left upstairs that hurt Flores, while at the same moment Flores threw a punch that missed. At first blush it was unclear whether Rigondeaux’s punch landed after the bell or right at the bell. But Vic Drakulich, the referee, was late breaking the fighters upon the end of the round. Flores went down and stayed down, on his back. From my seat ringside, it almost looked like Flores may have been milking the situation—thinking the punch may have landed after the bell—in an attempt to get a DQ win. Regardless, Drakulich knelt down and looked at Flores, but never gave him a count. Finally, he waved the fight off.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission ruled that the punch that landed at the end of the last round was a legal punch, not after the bell, so it was ruled a first round KO win for the ever-brilliant boxer Rigondeaux. Without the benefit of instant replay from ringside, it was hard to say whether that was the correct ruling or not. But even if the punch did land after the bell, the real issue here is the refereeing job by Vic Drakulich. A fighter in the middle of throwing punches in an exchange, the way Rigondeaux was, cannot reasonably be expected to be able to stop throwing immediately upon hearing the bell. If he hears the bell at all. It’s the referee’s job to get into proper position to intervene as soon as the bell rings, and Drakulich didn’t do that. Afterward, he also clearly wasn’t sure how to proceed when Flores had gone down.

CompuBox stats showed that Rigondeaux landed 9/36 total punches, or 25%. Flores landed 4/44 punches, or 9.1%. Power punches were even more impressive, for one round: Rigondeaux landed 9/17, or 52.9%. Flores landed 4/33, or 12.1%.

In my interview one month ago with Rigondeaux, he told me, “Power is in the puncher. I have a big punch for a guy my size—I have more power than a lot of people bigger than me in heavier weight classes.”

He proved that again tonight, and he also proved—yet again—that he is a masterful boxer, simply one of the best in the world, and is a joy to see in the ring. HBO, Roc Nation—let’s see Rigondeaux again very soon, preferably against another elite level boxer.

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  1. Fan 11:52am, 06/19/2017

    Could boxing be more ridiculous (After the bell). We need mouthpiece dropping, gloves swinning, elbow hitting, wwf referee…

  2. Anonymous 07:55am, 06/18/2017

    Dipshit is too kind.

  3. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 07:12pm, 06/17/2017

    Are you sure that they ruled that the punch was not after the bell or did the dipshits rule that the punch was after the bell but still somehow legal?

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