WBA Names Rigondeaux Frampton’s Mandatory – The World Boxing Association has ordered WBA Super Bantamweight champion Carl Frampton to face Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba by June 27th.
The WBA’s own website released the news late on March 1st, in a release called “A Tale of Two Jackals”, a reference to the nickname shared by both Frampton and Rigondeaux. The WBA considers the undefeated Rigondeaux (16-0) theie “Champion in Recess”. Rigondeaux held the WBA’s “Super World” title until his inactivity saw the WBA change his status.
The WBA’s own bi-laws state that a “Champion in Recess” is named when “a Champion is unavailable to timely defend the title due to injury or other legal impediment”.
Of course, Rigondeaux is making his debut in front of the English audience this upcoming March 12th when he faces James Dickens (21-1) at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on a card promoted by Frank Warren. Rigondeaux is expected to defeat Dickens, which would leave him open to making the fight with Frampton in June. Dickens could play spoiler, but the 24 year old has exclusively regional experience going in against the all-world Rigondeaux.
The other proposal Frampton will face is from his American promoters who will want him to move up in weight and face Leo Santa Cruz.
It will be interesting to see if the Santa Cruz offer and the appeal of the American market are enough to convince Frampton to leave home. With the state of boxing in America, it is even unclear if Frampton would not just make more money staying at home to fight.
Then there is the fact that Frampton may find Rigondeaux a more appealing match style-wise than the bigger Santa Cruz. For all his prowess, Rigondeaux is 35 years old and he lists at 5’5 tall, the same as Frampton. Frampton defeated Quigg on February 27th, but Quigg’s length and height troubled Frampton in the later rounds, and by almost anybody’s eye test, Santa Cruz will be considered a superior fighter to Quigg.
The TBRB.org Boxing Rankings has Rigondeaux rated as their Super Bantamweight titleholder while Frampton is ranked first behind him. Perhaps Frampton has unfinished business there before moving up in weight class.