Friday, February 03, 2023  |


Guillermo Rigondeaux-James Dickens called off due to visa issues



Photo by Chris Farina/Top Rank Promotions

Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank Promotions

Guillermo Rigondeaux has the boxing world guessing once again what he is up to.

Rigondeaux’s junior featherweight bout with James Dickens in Liverpool, England, on Saturday has been scratched after Rigondeaux returned home to Miami rather than obtain a visa to enter England from Russia, where he was training, promoter Frank Warren said in a lengthy press release on Wednesday. Roc Nation Sports, who co-promotes Rigondeaux, has not immediately responded to an email for comment to confirm Warren’s version of events.

According to the release, Rigondeaux traveled to Russia to train with coach Pedro Diaz, who was preparing Ruslan Chagaev for his WBA heavyweight title fight with Lucas Browne last Saturday. As a result, Rigondeaux, a Cuban national who lives in Miami, had to apply for a visa at the U.K. Visa Application Centre in Moscow, the release said. Warren said he was first notified that Rigondeaux, a former unified junior featherweight world champion, had traveled to Russia to train on Feb. 29.

Warren said in the release that Rigondeaux’s paperwork was in order and his visa would have been granted by Wednesday. “Throughout this process, QP and RNS (Warren’s Queensberry Promotions and Roc Nation Sports) continuously contacted the Application Centre and also our own contacts in Russia in an attempt to expedite this process and were informed that if the visa was not issued sooner, then it would be issued at the latest on Wednesday and Rigondeaux would then arrive in the U.K. shortly thereafter,” the release said.

But on Tuesday, Rigondeaux, who was stripped of his 122-pound titles for inactivity, shut off communication with his promoters and boarded a plane to fly to Miami “for some unexplained reason, unbeknown to both QP and RNS,” the release said.

“We have yet to establish how and why he flew to the USA and further, how he managed to fly anywhere when the normal practice is, when applying for a Visa, that you hand your passport in and get it back when the Visa is issued,” the release said. “Strangely, Rigondeaux left Moscow at a time when both the Application Centre and Consulate were still closed.”

The 35-year-old Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 knockouts) has yet to explain to organizers, including Roc Nation Sports, why he decided to leave Russia and fly to Miami, according to the release.

“We are all extremely disappointed by the whole situation as Rigondeaux will not appear this Saturday,” the release said. “And Dickens will not get the chance, that he has trained so hard for, to fight the world’s best Super-Bantamweight in front of his own fans.”