Monday, May 29, 2023  |



Rigondeaux’s career ruined by ‘reptiles,’ says former manager

Fighters Network
Guillermo Rigondeaux (R) punches Hisashi Amagasa during his most recent fight, which took place in December of 2014. Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images.

Guillermo Rigondeaux (R) punches Hisashi Amagasa during his most recent fight, which took place in December of 2014. Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images.

One of, if not the most talented pugilists on the planet, Guillermo Rigondeaux, continues his streak of sideline sitting, which is bewildering to his fans.

Rigo defected from Cuba and has fought just 15 times in his seven years as a pro.

A couple days ago we got word on a development which speaks, I think, to that inactivity.

The WBO voted to strip the 35-year-old Cuban, who is promoted by Caribe, of his junior featherweight title. Team Rigo countered that by saying there exists a dearth of appropriate foes.

Rigo’s now ex-manager, Irishman Gary Hyde, spoke to about that line of reasoning. Rigo and Hyde parted ways in September, by the way.

“It saddens me to hear that Rigondeaux has been stripped of his WBO world title and on hearing that the WBA are also considering stripping him,” Hyde told me. “Rigondeaux has worked his whole career to become the best fighter in the world. He was successful in doing this, winning two belts (as well as the RING championship), but he has surrounded himself with people who have ruined his career. No promoter or manager would touch Rigo with a 10-foot pole because these people are too difficult to deal with and they put hurdle after hurdle in front of every opportunity offered to Rigo. This is a nightmare situation for one of the best fighters in the world.”

Hyde doesn’t spare the lash for the fighter, either. “Rigo has to take some of the blame for destroying his own career,” he said. “He has refused many multi-million dollar opportunities I offered to him over the last couple of years. He needs to get rid of these reptiles and get fighting again because not only will he lose his world titles outside of the ring he will also be forgotten.”

I touched based with Caribe rep Louis Fonseca to get his response. “Interesting. It sounds like Gary Hyde,” he said. He asked that I share what Hyde told me, to him and to a Caribe attorney via email, and said he’d get back to me. I will insert a reply if and when it arrives.

The best person to ask about his career arc, about his inactivity, is Rigo but he’s not a talking-to-press type.

Guys like him, so obviously talented, but because of whatever issues, sit instead of fight; it’s a mystery. Andre Ward has been a sitter, as has Mikey Garcia, etc. I tend to think, by and large, you want to fight, need to fight, you will find a way to end the managerial woes or promotional tangles or what have you. I guess part of me wonders how much these sorts of folks enjoy the whole process … or if they are reluctant warriors. No judgement, really, this is a vicious and potentially fatal business. It’s for the .01 percent …

But for those of us not possessed with such majestic talent, it can be hard to grasp why such skilled artisans don’t indulge in their art but occasionally.

Follow me on Twitter.