Guillermo Rigondeaux admitted he was impressed by Filipino boxer Vincent Astrolabio, who pulled off a shocker by knocking down the Cuban technician en route to a unanimous decision win over the weekend.
Sports analyst Quinito Henson said the unheralded Astrolabio came in as a massive underdog ahead of his bantamweight clash with Rigondeaux in Dubai.
"The guy was a plus 600 underdog, Rigondeaux was a minus 1,000," said Henson. "That means, 'yung taya mo na $100 kay Astrolabio, $600 ang makukuha mo. Rigondeaux was a heavy favorite, tataya ka ng $1,000 just to win $100. Ganun kalaki ang agwat."
But the persistent Astrolabio stuck to his game plan and was able to drop Rigondeaux with a solid right in round 8.
After the fight, Henson said Rigondeaux approached and congratulated Astrolabio, reportedly telling the Filipino that he implemented a better game plan compared to another Pinoy boxer, WBO champion John Riel Casimero.
"Humanga si Rigondeaux sa kanya. Doon ako parang nagulat. Si Rigondeaux, medyo arogante. Gold medalist 'yan sa Olympics, 2-division champion, so feeling niya top of the world palagi," said Henson.
"Pero pagtapos ng laban kay Astrolabio, siya mismo ang lumapit. Sabi niya, 'Between you and Casimero, you know how to cut the ring, you never lost patience, you never lost your form.'"
With the victory, Astrolabio crowned himself as the new WBC International bantamweight champion. He improved to 17-3 with 12 knockouts.
"Itong si Astrolabio humanap lang ng opening at nakahanap nga ng opening. Bumagsak si Rigondeaux at aminado siyang talagang natalo siya," said Henson.
"That speaks volumes."