Boxing: Casimero is 'no Pacquiao,' says Rigondeaux after loss

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2021 03:19 PM

Cuba's Guillermo Rigondeaux in action against the Philippines' John Riel Casimero
Cuba's Guillermo Rigondeaux in action against the Philippines' John Riel Casimero. Casimero won via split decision. Photo courtesy of Showtime Boxing on Twitter (@ShowtimeBoxing)

Cuban boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux made his feelings about John Riel Casimero clear, after losing to the Filipino boxer in their bantamweight showdown on Saturday in California (Sunday in Manila).

Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, displayed the defensive wizardry and elusiveness that he is known for, making Casimero miss for most of the 12-round affair.

But two of the three judges scored the bout in Casimero's favor, rewarding his aggressive style against Rigondeaux's more conservative approach. The split decision allowed the Filipino to retain his WBO bantamweight title. 

In a post-fight interview with Jim Gray of Showtime, Rigondeaux made no apologies for his boxing style, which has made him one of the most decorated amateurs in history as well as a former super bantamweight champion.

"Nobody wants to fight with me because that's my game plan. I frustrate boxers," Rigondeaux said via a translator.

Asked by Gray about the total punches he threw -- 44 punches through 12 rounds, Rigondeaux said: "That's the necessary amount of punches that I needed to win this fight."

He also appeared unconcerned as fans booed him throughout the bout and even during his post-fight interview. "That's why I'm unique, that's my style and that's the only one I know," Rigondeaux stressed.

On Twitter, the Cuban said he makes no excuses for the loss but was less than impressed by what Casimero had to offer. The Filipino had vowed to knock Rigondeaux out within three rounds, but the bout instead went the distance with neither fighter landing much.

"I was expecting a guy ready to blow my chin away and sent (sic) me to retirement," Rigondeaux tweeted. "But I am not a picture on a bag. I can actually box. I learned before becoming a champ back in Cuba."

"You can point fingers at my style all you want but everything I got I fought for it. Nothing was given," he added.

Rigondeaux says he has no issue with the decision of the judges, noting that the sport "has never been fair to me at the professional level."

But he also fired a post-fight shot at Casimero, saying that it is obvious that he is not at the level of Filipino ring icon Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao.

"He is no Pacquiao and my chin is still on my head," the Cuban said. "Congratulations to the Filipino fans. You have a great champion, his name is Pacquiao."

The loss was only the second of Rigondeaux's professional career, after a stoppage defeat against Vasyl Lomachenko in December 2017 when he moved up a weight class to junior lightweight. 

Next weekend, Pacquiao is set to fight Cuban boxer Yordenis Ugas, who boasts a 26-4 career record with 12 knockout wins.

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