In a nation seemingly evermore scornful of subtlety, Guillermo Rigondeaux is in a tough spot. He’s the first, second or third best pugilst on the planet, with hand speed and power galore and a knack for footwork that tells me that he’d win the next Dancing With the Stars in a runaway. But the Cuban still fights in the same manner he employed in about 500 amateur fights, rat-tat-tatting his foes, and then waltzing deftly away, out of range. You want tradefest, you don’t want to watch a Rigo fight. This makes things somewhat harder for advisor Gary Hyde, who saw Rigo on Saturday night have his way with challenger Joseph Agbeko, a Ghana-born hitter who lived in the Bronx before moving to Vegas to train with Roger Mayweather.
The fans go ga-ga over the traders, and crave see-saw action more than they want to admire clinics put on by pugilists-scientists.
I asked Hyde how he handles that, and what he thought of Rigo’d UD12 win over Agbkeo, and what’s next for the talented artist.
“I am really proud to be Rigo’s manager,” said the Irishman Hyde, over email. “I thought his performance was flawless. Rigo always shows me something new and against Agbeko he showed how he can neutralize whatever the opponent brings.” That wasn’t all that much after round two, as Agbeko became discouraged, and he ceased to be busy and voluminous. “The fans were disappointed that Agbeko was afraid to make a fight of it,” he said.
And next for the Cuban? “He will enjoy Christmas and in January we will welcome negotaitions for a (rematch with) Nonito Donaire or a fight in April, against Vasyl Lomachenko. Rigo will fight any 122 or 126 pound fighter once they agree they will not weigh over 135 pounds on fight night.”
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Who will win? Wladimir Klitschko or Tyson Fury?