Guillermo Rigondeaux gets ready to return to action on Feb. 24 in Florida
Almost a year after suffering a freak accident, Guillermo Rigondeaux is returning to the ring.
Rigondeaux, who has won world title belts in two weight divisions, will fight on February 24, Warriors Boxing Promotions officially announced Wednesday afternoon.
No opponent has been announced, but the fight will take place at Hialeah Park Casino, located near Rigondeaux’s adopted hometown of Miami, Florida.
Rigondeaux (20-3 1 NC, 13 knockouts), a two-time Olympic gold medal winner, last fought on February 26, losing to Vincent Astrolabio by unanimous decision. Rigondeaux was knocked down in the eighth round, losing a point that would ultimately make the difference between a draw and an Astrolabio win.
Less than two weeks after the Astrolabio fight, Rigondeaux suffered injuries to his face and eyes after a pressure cooker he was using to cook black beans exploded. The impact of boiling water splashed onto Rigondeaux’s chest, face and eyes, causing both corneas to be severely burned.
Despite losing 80 percent of his vision, reportedly where he could only see shadows and sunlight, Rigondeaux slowly regained his vision as corneas can regenerate.
In July, Rigondeaux posted a picture of himself on his social media accounts, showing the burns to his face, particularly around both eyes.
“Every night when I close my eyes, this is what I see, sometimes it’s hard to forget,” Rigondeaux stated in the social media post.
The 42-year-old won a world title belt at 122 pounds, but it was his win over Nonito Donaire in a world unification title fight in April 2013 that solidified him as one of the best and most avoided fighters in the sport. Rigondeaux would move up in weight to 130 pounds to challenge then-WBO world titleholder Vasiliy Lomachenko, losing by knockout after the sixth round.
After winning his next two bouts, Rigondeaux would win the vacant WBA world bantamweight title, defeating Liborio Solis by split decision in February 2020. He would challenge then-WBO titleholder John Riel Casimero in his next bout in August 2021, losing by split decision.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]