CORK, Ireland – Interim WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux, arguably the greatest amateur boxer of all-time, is preparing to school challenger Willie “Big Bang” Casey when they square-off March 19 in Dublin.
The Guillermo-Casey title fight features a pair of unbeaten boxers headlining a show promoted by Top Rank, Nowhere 2 Hyde Promotions and Dolphil Promotions.
Rigondeaux (7-0, 5 KOs), a southpaw now fighting out of Miami, was a 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist, as well as a 7-time national champion who captured a pair of World Championship titles during his incredible 243-4 amateur career.
“Rigo” defected from Cuba and made his pro debut May 22, 2009, won the NABA super bantamweight title in his third action as a pro and last November in only his seventh fight, he won a unanimous 12-round split decision against Ricardo Cordoba (37-2-2) to become the Interim WBA 122-pound divisional champion.
“Casey doesn’t belong in the same ring as me,” the 30-year-old Rigondeaux said, “but I admire his courage for wanting to fight me. I’m excited about fighting in Ireland again, where I won my first World Championship as an amateur in 2001. My last fight, against Cordoba, was on the Pacquiao-Margarito card. Millions of people watching on pay-per-view, along with 61,000 fans in Dallas, watched me do what I had to do to win the WBA title.
“I am world champion. Casey and all of the fans in attendance will see a true world champion in action March 19. If Casey thinks I’m going to Ireland to lose my world title belt, he’s making a big mistake because I’m going to win, and in sensational fashion. He is tailor-made for me. I watched a couple of rounds of Casey’s previous fights and concluded that he’s a bit of a one-trick pony. We are as far apart in class as in residence, make no mistake about that and when the bell rings March 19th, that will certainly be evident to all.”
Casey (11-0, 7 KOs) stopped Paul Hyland in the fourth-round of their Nov. 6 fight in Willie’s hometown, Limerick (Ireland), to capture the vacant European super bantamweight crown. The 29-year-old Casey, however, must relinquish that belt in order to fight Rigondeaux.
Irishman Gary Hyde has been Rigondeaux’ manager since signing “El Chatel” (The Jackal) to an exclusive management agreement, in Cuba, back in March, 2007. “Willie is a warrior and a manager’s dream,” Hyde noted, “but unfortunately for Team Casey, Rigondeaux is unlike any boxer Casey has ever faced. ‘Rigo’ is a freak of nature! His amateur pedigree is unmatched in boxing history and he has already stamped his unique talent on the professional scene by winning the WBA World Interim Title in just his seventh pro fight.”
Rigondeaux will be working with Ronnie Shields as his head trainer for his third straight bout. “Casey is very tough and he appears to have a big heart,” Shields added. “Once Rigondeaux catches Casey, though, ‘Rigo’s’ power will shake him down to his boots. ‘Rigo’ hits hard for his weight and Casey will be punching the air most of the night because ‘Rigo’ is also a defensive master. I’ve worked with him for his last two fights and we understand each other very well.”
Rigondeaux reports January 3 to his training camp in Houston, Texas.