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article imageOp-Ed: Guillermo Rigondeaux needs to keep audience awake on fight night

By Leo Reyes     Nov 17, 2015 in Sports
Cuban boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux needs to engage Filipino challenger Drian Francisco in a toe-to-toe situation when they collide Saturday night in the undercard of the Cotto-Alvarez fight at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
Rigondeaux (15-0-0, 10 KOs) will be struggling with a bored or sleepy crowd on fight night as they are used to seeing him in the ring with past opponents in sleep-inducing or boring fights.
The very skillful Cuban fighter has been inactive for about a year as few opponents would dare face him in the ring, fearing they will lose because of his signature hit-and-run or "hit but don't get hit" style. The crowd wants action-packed fights and they don't see it happening in a Rigo fight.
This is the reason why Rigo was stripped of his WBO featherweight title, which was followed by another action from WBA to also strip him of the 122 pound title.
"Rigondeaux has not defended or scheduled to defend his title in a timely fashion culminating in only four bouts since September 15, 2012," the WBO wrote in its ruling according to ESPN.
Promoters want to make money on fights that sell and like the crowd, they also want to get rewarded for fights that are easier to sell.
No one is disputing Rigo's skill in boxing having won gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympics in the bantamweight (54 kg) division.
But boxing is also business and the stakeholders need to make a decent return on their investments or they won't be able to pay their dues or settle their fighters' purses.
Saturday night's fight is one good opportunity for Rigo to shine in the spotlight because the event will be on HBO and he will be performing before a big audience composed of discriminating fight fans.
But it will also be a big challenge for Rigo because Francisco (28-3-1, 22 KOs) is a big hitter and has nothing much to lose as he has yet to win a world title. Francisco will definitely go for a knockout win to get a step closer to another title fight.
If Rigo can entertain the crowd and win over Francisco on Saturday, he could keep his pound-for-pound ranking and look forward to more lucrative fights.
Still, he has to engage or go for a toe-toe-toe showdown with the aspiring Filipino title challenger in order to erase or remove his unwanted "boring fighter" tag which has prevented his promoters from securing lucrative fights for him.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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