By Keith Idec
Now that Guillermo Rigondeaux has fought for the first time in 13 months, his handlers want another challenging fight for him.
Alex Bornote, Rigondeaux’s manager, told BoxingScene.com that the former super bantamweight champion will fight any opponent within the 122-pound or 126-pound divisions. Ideally, Rigondeaux will continue competing at 122 pounds, his natural weight class.
But Bornote emphasized that Rigondeaux gladly would move up to the featherweight division, especially for fights against WBA champ Leo Santa Cruz (35-1-1, 19 KOs) or WBC champ Gary Russell Jr. (29-1, 17 KOs).
“He’s back to his original weight,” Bornote said. “We’re willing to fight anybody now – anybody that’s really challenging for him, that people wanna see. We’d like to a get a couple belts at 122 again, but if something challenging comes up at 126, we’re willing to go to 126, to give people what they want.
“We’ll try to get people from overseas, the [Carl] Framptons or anybody like that, or anyone here [in the United States]. That’s why we went with PBC. They present the most challenging opponents for him in or around his weight class.”
The 38-year-old Rigondeaux (18-1, 12 KOs, 1 NC) made his Premier Boxing Champions debut Sunday night in Los Angeles. The Cuban southpaw knocked out overmatched Mexican Giovanni Delgado in the first round of their scheduled eight-rounder.
Rigondeaux drilled Delgado with a straight left hand that sent him to one knee late in the first round. Delgado didn’t get up before referee Jack Reiss counted to 10 and waved an end to a fight FS1 televised from Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live.
Delgado, 27, is 1-7 in his last eight fights. He slipped to 16-9 overall.
Miami’s Rigondeaux fought for the first time since Vasiliy Lomachenko stopped him following six one-sided rounds in December 2017 in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Rigondeaux moved up two weight classes to challenge Ukraine’s Lomachenko (12-1, 9 KOs) for the WBO junior lightweight title, but he declined to continue after the sixth round of an unprecedented showdown between two-time Olympic gold medalists.
Including Sunday’s victory, Rigondeaux still has fought a total of just 10 rounds since his 10-round, unanimous-decision victory over Drian Francisco in November 2015.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.