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Rigondeaux claims WBA 122-pound title
We’ve heard of fighters competing in 12 round fights after having just one professional bout. A fighter having had three professional fights in one single night is not a myth. Fighters have turned professional at 17. Also, many fighters have fought for world titles with less than 20 fights.
Rigondeaux is a mixture of a different breed compared to most fighters that don’t have a great amateur resume and need to fight tomato-can mismatches to pad their records. However, as talented as Rigondeaux is, is not uncommon. What Rigondeaux lacks in professional experience, he has already made up for it during his amateur days.
Rigondeaux is a 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Olympic gold medalist, who defected from his native Cuba in 2007. To have Rigondeaux compete in a series of hand-picked opponents that are less talented than the guys he beat as an amateur is a complete waste of his time and talent.
Rigondeaux, after just nine professional fights, was more than prepared to take the WBA super bantamweight championship away from Rico Ramos. No disrespect to Ramos, but Rigondaux was the batter amateur fighter with quicker hands, better combinations, footwork, and experience. As professionals, Ramos was an undefeated world champion, but his skills simply didn’t compare to the talented Rigondeaux.
“Rico Ramos is a very good fighter,” Rigondeaux said after his world championship-capturing fight. “But I train very hard and when I train, no one can beat me.”
In the opening round, Rigondeaux was more relaxed than Ramos, who never really found a rhythm and settled into the fight. Ramos, recognized for his punching power having KO’d previous champion Akifumi Shimoda of Japan to win the title in Atlantic City, NJ last July, was very tentative in taking any risks or even throw punches against Rigondeaux’s effective southpaw style.
Rigondeaux quickly settled into the fight moving his head, landing his straight-left, and applying pressure by forcing Ramos to circle around the ring backwards. Ramos was a sucker for Rigondeaux’s left hand.
Rigondeaux dropped Ramos in the very first round.
Patiently awaiting another opportunity to send Ramos home beltless, Rigondeaux ended Ramos’ brief title reign in the sixth. He landed a slew of punches highlighted by a signature body shot that put Ramos on the mat for good. There was no beating referee Joe Cortez’ 10-count, as Rigondeaux claimed the WBA 122-round title in decisive fashion.
The time of the stoppage was 1:29 seconds of round number six.
“He hit me in the back of the head and I got dizzy,” said Ramos. “The referee told us to fight and I wanted to take my time. That’s when he caught me with the body shot and I fell. I’m going to bounce back harder. I’ll be up in that gym next week.”
Rigondeaux-Ramos was the featured main event of SHOWTIME’s critically acclaimed “ShoBox: The New Generation” series.
In other featured bouts: Joel Diaz Jr. (7-0, 6 KOs) stopped Guy Robb (7-1, 3 KOs) t 2:20 seconds of the seventh round of a wild slugfest in which both fighters hit the canvas. Super flyweight Matthew Villanueva (7-0-1, 7 KOs) defeated Mike Ruiz Jr. (8-2-1, 3 KOs) at 1:04 seconds into round seven.
Photo Credit: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME