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Guillermo Rigondeaux stripped of WBA’s 122-pound title after Lomachenko loss

03
Jan

The WBA vowed to strip Guillermo Rigondeaux of his junior featherweight title if he lost to Vasyl Lomachenko.

And now, the organization has followed through.

In a curious decision, the WBA withdrew recognition from Rigondeaux as its 122-pound champion, even though his listless defeat to Lomachenko on December 10 took place two weight classes above at 130 pounds.

It’s common practice for fighters to hold a title in one weight division and still compete in another, as long as they quickly make a decision afterward on which weight class they’ll compete in.

Sometimes they don’t even have to decide quickly. Mikey Garcia hasn’t fought at 135 pounds since a knockout of Dejan Zlaticanin one year ago. His next fight, against Sergey Lipinets next month, also isn’t at 135, but yet he still holds the WBC lightweight belt.

Canelo was given similar time when he held the WBO junior middleweight belt, yet was competing at middleweight.

Rigondeaux was afforded no such luxury.

And the WBA can’t argue that it had anything to do with the Cuban remaining at 130 pounds. After all, he would only be stripped if he lost.

Not only is Rigondeaux no longer recognized as champion, he’s been removed from the WBA ratings altogether.

Danny Roman, previously the organization’s “regular” junior featherweight titlist, has been elevated to its main titleholder and Moises Flores remains an interim titleholder.

Danny Roman, who isn’t the same caliber of Rigondeaux, was elevated from “regular” titleholder to full champion. Moises Flores, whom Rigondeaux knocked out in one round in June before it was overturned to a no contest, remains the WBA’s interim champ.

“I think it’s very unfair,” Alex Boronte, who manages Rigondeaux, told ESPN. “We fought at 130 pounds. What does that have to do with anything at 122 pounds, where Rigo was champion?

“They just had it in for us. His inactivity has totally screwed him. Rigo has been inactive and when you’re inactive the WBA is not getting any sanctioning fees, so they’ve had it in for us.”

There’s no questioning Rigondeaux’s stinker of a performance against Lomachenko. But why that should affect the two-time Olympic gold medalist at 122 pounds, where he’s reigned for years and remains THE RING’s No. 1 fighter?

“I didn’t think it would be such a horrible performance,” Bornote said. “It’s another nail in his coffin in his career. It’s the Rigo story. Never have I ever seen such a thing. He has no luck at all.”

  • Tony Nightstick

    Sounds punitive to me.

    • Miguel Irmc

      and a bit of a bitch move, to….

  • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

    Talk about adding indignity to injury! Huh huh.

    • Uncle Sham

      “injury”

  • Flash Titan

    Illogical & Disrespectful. Phony Organization anyway.

    • Uncle Sham

      Normally i’d be upset about something like this but the fact that Rigo talked all that s**t just to quit like a b**tch ….he deserves to get stripped

      • Miguel Irmc

        If shit talkers start getting stripped of titles IN OTHER WEIGHT CLASSES for not backing up their claims, well, we gonna see quite a few belts changing hands, and contenders elevated to the category of top ranked by the grace of…..boxing politics. You sure that’s a good thing for boxing?

        • Uncle Sham

          quitter doesn’t deserve to keep his belt….if he toughed it out to the final bell instead of quitting like a b*tch i’d have more sympathy for him

  • Tramadol Jack

    Rubbing salt in the wound. Wow.

  • ciobanu catalin

    Good… He need time to heal that broose on his hand anyway… Learn to fight for nothing just to stay busy and make a name in the weight you re at, clean it up, then ask for money you boring arse

    • AngelMorningstar

      Legen…. dary!

    • Miguel Irmc

      Wow. Learn to fight for nothing. Really?! To say that to a Cuban Olimpic boxer just shows that you are either ignorant on the subject or just trying to be hurtfull, but in any case, its a very stupid thing to say.
      I dont particularly like Rigo, but you should learn a little bit about Cuba, Cuban Athletes and Rigo’s story, because what you said is simply ridiculous, to be polite…These guys have fought some of the best figters in the world, for free, over and over again, 99% of them retired in poverty and with permanent damages, after 3 olimpic golds and a couple of worls championships, And they did it all FOR FREE.
      Well, not always…one of them got a chinese bycicle from the government as a reward for his success.
      and about him being Boring arse? Why do you think boxers like him or Pep were are refered to as “pure Boxers”? Maybe you just want to be entertained…in the words of George Foreman: “Boxing: The better it is, the less people apreciate it”

    • Miguel Irmc

      Clean up your division? HAHAHAHAHAHA. You are the gift that keeps on giving, my friend. Rigo is one of the world most avoided fighters on the planet, nobody, I repeat, nobody at 122 wants to get in the ring with him, while other go up in class just so they dont have to face him….lol….you funny

      • ciobanu catalin

        I am 100 % right my friend

  • Koninbeor

    “They just had it in for us. His inactivity has totally screwed him.
    Rigo has been inactive and when you’re inactive the WBA is not getting
    any sanctioning fees, so they’ve had it in for us.”

    It’s all about the $$$. The WBA found an excuse, even though it was a super crappy one, and took advantage. They don’t care about Rigo or any other boxer in the world.

  • Lalo O Barajas

    And that inactivity is whose fault…?

    • acti vate

      Yours???

  • Droeks Malan

    He has had very bad luck. But he also needs to learn now and get active in his career, not sit around waiting for fights. He is not going to get any big fights until he rebuilds some momentum.

  • Steve

    A spiteful overreaction from the worst sanctioning body in the sport. As for Rigo he struggled to get name guys in the ring with him as champion; it’ll be near impossible without a belt. First he needs to be more active, even if against journeymen for small. purses. Secondly, much as it pains me to say it, take a leaf out of Tyson Fury’s book. Sit ringside for the big fights, climb through the ropes afterwards and challenge the winner. Go as far as offering to accept 20-30% of the purse whilst gatecrashing his postfight interview. At his age Rigo can’t afford to wait around hoping for opportunity to knock on his door.

  • Trump Gay Hitler.

    Now that his hand was broken in 456 places when he hit a hard wall of air he will be inactive till 2020. Goodbye quitter, go back to Cuba!

  • shawn

    I recall 3G not getting – A level fighters for a long spell. Cotto would not pass the torch and give 3G a name, hoping to ruin his legacy. I have to admit W. Klitschko did a lot of things the classy way. That’s boxing I suppose.

  • Teddy Reynoso

    What’s the Ring position in this issue?

    • Teddy Reynoso

      Anyway, am no longer surprised. The WBA has a long history of unjust decision against blacks and fighters from Third World countries. I remember how it stricken off our own beloved champion Flash Elorde from its ranking immediately after he lost the world title to Yoshiaki Numata in 1967 after reigning for seven years. Talk of long years of loyalty and service to the organization. The WBA also stripped Muhammad Ali of his championship when he refused to defend it against its choice challenger Ernie Terrell and chosen to give Sonny Liston a rematch. The WBA also stripped Ali of its title Ali regained by whipping Terrell when Ali refused to join the military draft in 1967.

  • John Grady

    It sure seems as though rules are being made according to the fighter and circumstance… I never heard of a champion losing his title when moving up in weight, and being told that he wouldn’t lose the belt if he won that bout. Incredibly odd. If they were going to strip him, do it regardless of the outcome and state the reason (e.g. champions must defend their titles in all of his fights). Absurd.