Rigondeaux’s Manager Speaks on WBA Ruling

By Caryn A. Tate on November 28, 2017
Rigondeaux’s Manager Speaks on WBA Ruling
I reached out to Rigondeaux’s team today to speak with them about the WBA ruling.

WBA president Gilberto Mendoza Jr. stated that his organization would strip Guillermo Rigondeaux should he lose to Vasyl Lomachenko…

As confirmed to Boxing.com by Guillermo Rigondeaux’s manager, Alex Bornote, and reported by Miguel Rivera, WBA president Gilberto Mendoza Jr. stated that his organization would strip current WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux should he lose to WBO super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko on December 9. This is despite the fact that Rigondeaux is moving up two weight divisions to face Lomachenko at the latter’s weight class, and Rigondeaux’s world title is not on the line in the bout.

I reached out to Rigondeaux’s team to speak with them about the WBA ruling. The manager of “El Chacal,” Alex Bornote, spoke about the WBA ruling and how the situation played out from the perspective of Rigondeaux and his team. “Rigo had applied for a special request to not fight his mandatory against [Moises] Flores as his next fight, in order to fight Lomachenko now and return [afterward] to his 122-pound obligations,” Bornote said. “The decision they’re making now is regarding his special request and making their own ruling out of it.”

In the aforementioned article, Mendoza was quoted as saying, “The special permission was requested, and he was given the opportunity because it is an important fight for boxing. But if he wins he has five days to decide and if he loses, he would then have to lose the recognition [of being WBA champion] because it is what corresponds [to agreement of allowing him to move up] and in this event we would have to order that Moises Flores goes against the winner of Daniel Roman and an opponent to be supplied to us.”

Mendoza’s statement would lead one to believe that the WBA made this decision about Rigondeaux’s title months ago, when they granted him permission to delay his mandatory bout with Flores, and that the Cuban and his team have been aware of this for some time. On the contrary, Bornote stated, “[The WBA] had given Rigondeaux and Roc Nation [Rigondeaux’s promoter] notice of this decision a few weeks ago. I believe they had something more recently where they made the decision final. We found out through an article about what their plan was, which was a loss-loss for Rigo—either win and decide, or lose and lose the title. It’s like he’s fighting for two titles. It’s a bad decision in my opinion.”

For more background on the WBA and their history of questionable decisions as they relate to Rigondeaux, Bornote offered more detail. “Rigo is really frustrated with the WBA because since the beginning of this mandatory (Flores), it has held his career back more than a year for a title that hasn’t done much for him. They took it away to give to Frampton, who then refused his mandatory against Rigo. Once that happened, they gave Rigo champion status—only with the mandatory against Flores. Flores was busy with an upcoming fight that delayed the negotiations. Then we were supposed to be on the Cotto-Kirkland card; that got canceled, which delayed the fight even more months.”

As I mentioned in my article written from ringside, when Rigondeaux fought Flores the first time in June, referee Vic Drakulich was not in proper position to stop a flurry of action at the end of the first round. Therefore, both fighters threw, and a punch from Rigondeaux landed, after the bell. Flores went down but seemed to be milking the situation in the hopes of handing Rigondeaux a DQ loss. After review, the Nevada State Athletic Commission ruled the bout a no contest due to the shot landing after the bell sounded.

The Lomachenko vs. Rigondeaux fight is significant for the sport. It’s a bout with two dual Olympic gold medal winners who have immense amateur backgrounds, and both boxers are lauded as technically brilliant. Even Mendoza himself agreed that the match is an important one. Rigondeaux’s super bantamweight strap is not even at stake in the bout, and months ago the WBA agreed to grant Rigondeaux permission to move up two weight divisions for the bout. In light of all of this, it’s an unfortunate move on the sanctioning body’s part to throw this wrench into things after the fact.

It’s highly troubling to see decisions like this one that so negatively impact the boxers who toil, grind, and literally put their lives on the line every time they climb between the ropes. It’s particularly sobering when sanctioning bodies—whose titles and all they represent are motivators to young boxers clawing their way up the ranks—treat their own champions in such a way.

Follow Caryn A. Tate on Twitter@carynatate

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  1. JJ Austin 06:09pm, 12/01/2017

    I agree with both opinions actually. KOOLZ is right that not bothering to learn English definetaly hurts Rigo bc it kept him from being marketable at all in the US, England or Australia where most of the big boxing money is.. Yet it is the promoters primary job to get the fighter exposure and known so you’re both right as I see it.. Have to disagree about his chances though Koolz, I think he’s absolutely capable of out boxing Loma but it won’t be easy. Toughest fight for both guys thus far and a treat to us hard-core fight fans.

  2. AkT 05:23am, 12/01/2017

    I agree with you Don from Prov. You certainly have the beat.

    A fighter’s job is to fight. A promoter should promote. I’d instead blame Bob Arum. Rigondeaux is way too good to be as unknown as he is.

  3. Koolz 11:56am, 11/29/2017

    none taken Don From Prov.  and yes he ruined his career. 

    Non-marketable.

    Don’t see him as a victim here.  sorry you guys will have to try harder.

  4. Don from Prov 07:30am, 11/29/2017

    The ruling by the WBA is blatantly unfair.  It seems to me that the mainstream boxing world has been lined up against Rigondeaux from go.


    No offense Koolz but learning English is not a requirement for fair treatment.  Neither does it have much to do with being a good fighter.
    Rigo ruined his career? How, by beating everyone he could get into the ring?
    I don’t think a fighter’s job is to fit someone else’s conception of a fighter.

  5. Koolz 02:20am, 11/29/2017

    Rigo has ruined his career.  Has never even tried to learn English or market himself right.

    and honestly I give him no chance against Lomachenko at this weight.

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