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article imageOp-Ed: Why Rigondeaux could suffer first career loss against Francisco

By Leo Reyes     Nov 18, 2015 in Sports
Cuban boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux has won all his fights since turning pro in 2009 but on Saturday night in the undercard of the Cotto-Alvarez fight at the Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, he could suffer his first career loss.
Rigondeaux (15-0-0, 10 KOs) is set to face Drian Francisco (28-3-1, 22 KOs) of the Philippines in a 10-round non-title fight.
The highly-skilled Cuban fighter was recently stripped of his multiple titles by the sanctioning bodies for inactivity and for not defending his titles for about a year.
"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.
While Rigondeaux has not lost a single fight in his pro career, his long layoff could take its toll on his endurance when he collides with Francisco over the weekend.
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.
While Rigondeux is favored to win, the fight could go either way as Francisco is expected to mount a relentless attach in the early rounds.
"I'm ready to showcase my skills," said Francisco. "I'm bringing my best for this fight, probably more than any other fight. I want to make this an exciting fight for fans," Francisco told Yibada.com.
Francisco is aware of Rigondeaux's exceptional boxing skill, having been a two-time gold medalist in the 2000 and 2004 summer Olympics.
"I'm excited. It's been a while since I've been this excited for a fight because I know my opponent is really good. He's been world champion multiple times," Francisco added.
An impressive win by Rigondeaux would allow him revive his sagging career after a long layoff. His appearance on the Cotto-Alvarez undercard which will be seen on HBO worldwide could likewise boost his dwindling popularity which could lead to more lucrative fights.
For Francisco, who is a former title challenger, it would be a career-defining fight and a win could give him a chance for another title fight.
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 DigitalJournal.com
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