By Jeff Aranow
Guillermo Rigondeaux returns next month to fight featherweight journeyman Giovanni Delgado (16-8, 9 KOs) in a 10 round fight at a catchweight of 123 pounds on January 13, according to The Ring. Delgado, 27, has lost six out of his last seven fights. Obviously, the handlers for the 38-year-old southpaw Rigondeaux aren’t taking any chances with him potentially getting beat by them putting him in with someone a little too good.
Rigondeaux was previously scheduled to face super featherweight Daniel Rosas (21-4-1, 13 KOs), but for some reason this fight is not happening. Delgado was previously scheduled to fight undefeated Fernando Garcia (10-0, 5 KOs) in an eight round fight on the card.
Rigondeaux vs. Delgado is scheduled for 10 rounds on the undercard of Jose Uzcategui vs. Caleb Plant on Premier Boxing Champions on FS1 and FOX Deportes at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT The fight card will be taking place at the Microsoft Theater, in Los Angeles, California.
This is the first fight back for the 38-year-old Rigondeaux since losing to former World Boxing Organization super featherweight champion Vasyl Lomachenko a year ago in December 2017. Rigondeaux was brave to move up 2 weight classes to fight the larger Lomachenko but it was no use. Lomachenko toyed with Rigondeaux for six rounds in stopping him in the 6th round when he bowed out on his stool. Rigondeaux said he had a hand injury, but the boxing public just thinks he quit to escape the embarrassment of being dominated.
It was an interesting idea on paper to have two previous 2-time Olympic gold medalists face each other, but in reality it turned out to be a bad idea. Rigondeaux was simply too old, too small and too weak to beat Lomachenko. The fight turned out to be a boring one due to the one-sided nature. It would have been like asking Lomachenko to move up two weight classes to fight IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. Lomachenko is a good fighter, but he would be absolutely crushed by a guy the size of Spence. In going up two weight classes, Rigondeaux was too small to beat Lomachenko. Rigondeaux thought he had suffered a fractured left hand, but it turned out to be just a bone bruise.
Rigondeaux recently left his promoters RocNation, who he’d been with for four fights. Rigondeaux is now signed with Premier Boxing Champions, and they’re going to be looking to rebuild his brand with good match-making, beginning with his fight against Delgado.
Ronnie Shields will be in Rigondeaux’s corner for his fight with Delgado on January 13. This is a fight that Rigondeaux wins even if he were to be out there on his own. He shouldn’t have any problems beating the journeyman Delgado. It won’t be until Premier Boxing Champions steps Rigondeaux up against better fighters that he’ll have issues.
Delgado has been struggling for a while now in losing most of his fights recently. He’s lost to the following fighters in the last three years: Joshua Greer Jr., Brandon Figueroa, Emmanuel Rodriguez, Omar Lina, Diego De La Hoya and Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Diaz. Delgado did beat Cesar Juarez (23-6, 17 KOs) by a 10 round split decision in March 2016. Juarez is a good fighter, who has been in the ring with Nonito Donaire, Isaac Dogboe, and Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. Delgado beating Juarez shows that he does have some talent.
Now that Rigondeaux is with PBC, they should do a good job of putting him in tht eright fights to help his career. It’s hard to imagine PBC throwing Rigondeaux in with someone like Lomachenko like his previous promoters did. Rigondeaux would still be undefeated if he had a promoter that was looking out for him to put him in the right fights instead of throwing him in with a guy that was much too big for him in Lomachenko. What was sad about Rigondeaux losing to Lomachenko was that he was stripped of his WBA Super World super bantamweight title by the sanctioning body after his loss to the Ukrainian, even though he didn’t lose to a fighter from the 122 pound weight class. The WBA stripped Rigondeaux of his super bantamweight title anyway, and Daniel Roman holds their title.
As good as Roman is, he would likely have lost if he had to fight Rigondeaux for the World Boxing Association super bantamweight title. Rigondeaux should have been able to keep his WBA 122 lb title after he lost to Lomachenko at super featherweight. Fighters move up in weight all the time to challenge champions in other weight classes, and they don’t end up being stripped of their titles.
Rigondeaux needs to make sure he stays in the super bantamweight division, and not move up in weight two weight classes anymore. The only thing Rigondeaux accomplished in moving up to super featherweight was to make Lomachenko look better than he actually is. Lomachenko has been exposed in his last two fights against Jorge Linares and Jose Pedraza. Now that Lomachenko is fighting guys his own size at lightweight, it’s become apparent that he’s not the talent that boxing fans thought he was.
What Rigondeaux should be doing is moving down to bantamweight to fight at 118. He rehyrates to only 126 lbs for his fights against super bantamweight. That’s an insanely low weight for a fighter in the 122 lb weight class. The fighters in the super bantamweight division rehydrate at least 10 to 15 lbs, and they come into their fights looking like lightweights. Rigondeaux clearly belongs in the 118 lb weight class. Rigondeaux probably doesn’t want to fight in that division because there are fewer talented fighters in that weight class for him to fight. Rigondeaux would stand a better chance of winning a world title at 118 than he would at super bantamweight right now.
PBC needs to keep Rigondeaux busy with his career, as he’s been idle far too much in the last three years of his career. It’s understandable somewhat that Rigondeaux has been ot o fthe ring due to hi not being able to get the bigger names to fight him, but he should have at least been kept busy taking any fights he can in order to increase his popularity or keep it at the same level.
Rigondeaux hasn’t taken a lot of punishment during his career, thanks to his defensive skills. He’s still fairly fresh for a fighter on the downside of his career. Rigondeaux just needs to make sure that he fights frequently, and he should be fighting in the 118 lb weight class. Rigondeaux could probably make 112 or 115 to fight in those weight classes. Rigondeaux would have to lose approximately 11 lbs to fight at super flyweight, and 14 lbs to campaign at flyweight.