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Rigo Gets W In the "Protect Yourself At All Times" Fight in Macau

BY Michael Woods ON July 20, 2014
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Rigondeaux

Tsk, tsk Sod Kokietgym.

I don’t mean to pile on, my good man, but must I be the one to remind you…er, I’m assuming you have heard this one before, being that you debuted as a pro in 2001... “defend yourself at all times.”

You didn’t Sod, and for that, you paid pretty dearly, when you ate that one-two from Guillermo Rigondeaux in round one of your clash at the Cotai Arena in Macau on Saturday.

You might have heard about this ending, which, by the way, is music to the ears of Team Rigondeaux, who on a daily basis have to keep from gnashing their teeth down to enamel dust with the knowledge that they are part of a crew for one of the uppermost talented boxers on the planet, but one who simply doesn’t get sustained love from the suits. Or the paychecks far lesser talented fighters cash on a regular basis mind you…

If you didn’t see the scrap, promoted by Top Rank, and shown in the States on Unimas late Saturday night, it featured two lefties figuring each other out in the first. A most patient and unflappable tactician, the super bantam ace Rigo snapped the jab, landed some crisp lefts, slipped and ducked and moved with swiftness and fluidity early on. The Thai foe looked to land a power left, and as he came in, Rigo too came forward. Their heads clashed and the Thai man went down, to his knees, like he’d been tased. He gestured at his head, trying to tell the ref what happened. He went to a corner, got some extra time, a few extra seconds, though the ref didn’t call for a five minutes or less break to let him get composed. The ref called for action to commence, half-arsedly indicated as much, gestured for the men to re-start the fisticufss, and they did. They went to touch gloves, a universal signal of OK, let’s get that behind us, and carry on…and Rigo drooped the ole tap and smack, or bump and bash, or whatever you want to call it. Both men tapped their lead hands, and the Thai expected the action to re-commence at a more leisurely pace than did Rigo. A split second after the gentleman’s tap, Rigo threw a blinding right hook, followed by a hammer of a left.

Bang, down went the Thai, again, like he’d been tased. This time, he was counted out, as he did reach his feet, but on jelly legs. He complained bitterly to Mark Nelson, but to no avail. The time of the stoppage: 1:44 of round one.

Twitter lit up, with some folks accusing Rigo (now 14-0) of taking the low road. Well, the road taken certaintly wasn’t the high road…but all involved, and all on the sidelines pondering getting involved, and all us mere spectators must know that this is prizefighting, the stakes are high, men will employ whatever slight edge they can to win, and an opponent simply must be on the lookout for corners being cut.

Sod wasn’t told by anyone to touch ‘em up, and for engaging in that bit of in-the-gym-during sparring-sessions sort of nicety, he paid dearly. As with most difficult lessons learned, the price he paid to learn it was stiff. He drops to 63-3-1.

You see that man standing and smiling to Rigo's left? That's his manager, Gary Hyde. I asked Hyde about the controversial ending and what's next for the Cuban cutie. He said, "The finish, which had everyone talking, was just what we wanted."

The genial Irishman told me, when asked if he thinks Rigo won via a cheap shot, "No way."

And next, especially in light of the fact that Top Rank's option to work with Rigo has ended, and he is a co-promotional free agent? "I'm happy with the interest shown by various promoters," Hyde continued, noting that the team from Caribe continues to stand as a co-promoter. "Hopefully we can get a deal which will keep Rigo busy against the right opponent."

Like who?

"Ideally Leo Santa Cruz," he said. "And how likely are we to get that next? It's up to the powers that be. I will meet with Golden Boy next week."

--- Photo Credit : Chris Farina - Top Rank

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Comment on this article

The Commish says:

Tsk, tsk Sod Kokietgym.
I don’t mean to pile on, my good man, but must I be the one to remind you…er, I’m assuming you have heard this one before, being that you debuted as a pro in 2001... “defend yourself at all times.”
You didn’t Sod, and for that, you paid pretty dearly, when you ate that one-two from Guillermo Rigondeaux in round one of your clash at the Cotai Arena in Macau on Saturday.
You might have heard about this ending, which, by the way, is music to the ears of Team Rigondeaux, who on a daily basis have to keep from gnashing their teeth down to enamel dust with the knowledge that they are part of a crew for one of the uppermost talented boxers on the planet, but one who simply doesn’t get sustained love from the suits. Or the paychecks far lesser talented fighters cash on a regular basis mind you…
If you didn’t see the scrap, promoted by Top Rank, and shown in the States on Unimas late Saturday night, it featured two lefties figuring each other out in the first. A most patient and unflappable tactician, the super bantam ace Rigo snapped the jab, landed some crisp lefts, slipped and ducked and moved with swiftness and fluidity early on. The Thai foe looked to land a power left, and as he came in, Rigo too came forward. Their heads clashed and the Thai man went down, to his knees, like he’d been tased. He gestured at his head, trying to tell the ref what happened. He went to a corner, got some extra time, a few extra seconds, though the ref didn’t call for a five minutes or less break to let him get composed. The ref called for action to commence, half-arsedly indicated as much, gestured for the men to re-start the fisticufss, and they did. They went to touch gloves, a universal signal of OK, let’s get that behind us, and carry on…and Rigo drooped the ole tap and smack, or bump and bash, or whatever you want to call it. Both men tapped their lead hands, and the Thai expected the action to re-commence at a more leisurely pace than did Rigo. A split second after the gentleman’s tap, Rigo threw a blinding right hook, followed by a hammer of a left.
Bang, down went the Thai, again, like he’d been tased. This time, he was counted out, as he did reach his feet, but on jelly legs. He complained bitterly to Mark Nelson, but to no avail. The time of the stoppage: 1:44 of round one.
Twitter lit up, with some folks accusing Rigo (now 14-0) of taking the low road. Well, the road taken certaintly wasn’t the high road…but all involved, and all on the sidelines pondering getting involved, and all us mere spectators must know that this is prizefighting, the stakes are high, men will employ whatever slight edge they can to win, and an opponent simply must be on the lookout for corners being cut.
Sod wasn’t told by anyone to touch ‘em up, and for engaging in that bit of in-the-gym-during sparring-sessions sort of nicety, he paid dearly. As with most difficult lessons learned, the price he paid to learn it was stiff. He drops to 63-3-1.


Exactly. This wasn't a sparring session in the gym. This was a world title fight against an undefeated world champion and highly-decorated amateur who only knows how to win. What Rigo did we see done so many times before. I understand what the Thai was doing and it was a cheap shot for Rigo to take, but it was not illegal.

Protect yourself at all times. That axiom rang true the other night!

-Randy G.

amayseng says:

Exactly. This wasn't a sparring session in the gym. This was a world title fight against an undefeated world champion and highly-decorated amateur who only knows how to win. What Rigo did we see done so many times before. I understand what the Thai was doing and it was a cheap shot for Rigo to take, but it was not illegal.

Protect yourself at all times. That axiom rang true the other night!

-Randy G.


Though did it help Rigo's chances at becoming an attraction after all the slack he has received for being boring? Especially with an ending contract and being a free agent?

I say he did himself no favors.

Radam G says:

Though did it help Rigo's chances at becoming an attraction after all the slack he has received for being boring? Especially with an ending contract and being a free agent?

I say he did himself no favors.


Fight fans are likes dogs. They have short memories. And most outside Macao, HBO2, the Armed Forces Network and Mexican television didn't see the bout.

I told you that "look" was going to get knocked off Sod's last name. Hehehe! Observed how the author is not using his last name. Holla!

oubobcat says:

I am very interested to see where Rigo goes from here now that this fight is over. His contract with Top Rank has now expired and he is a promotional free agent. Top Rank and Rigo have shown zero indication that they will be working together going forward. HBO also has zero interest in televising any of his fights. Will Al Haymon be calling? Does Showtime have an interest in showing Rigo now that he is out of the Top Rank deal? It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Personally, I'd love to see a Rigo-Santa Cruz fight happen at some point. Its the ultimate contrast of styles fight in the sport. Rigo's masterful defense and counter punch ability versus the high volume punching of Santa Cruz. For us hardcore fans, its as good as it gets as far as matchup of styles and skill.

gibola says:

I agree the bottom line is protect yourself at all times - but, really...is it what we want?

Rigondeaux will never admit it, but he already wishes he hadn't done it and the people around him do too. It damaged his marketability more than any boring 12 rounder.

One of these days a really big fight we all wanted to see will end like this, an unbeaten record will go because of it, a fight in a very heated environment where it'll cause a riot and people will get hurt, a fight you've shelled out a small fortune to see will be decided after 30 seconds because someone decides to clock an opponent who is apologizing, some guy travels halfway round the world to see a fight that ends in that fashion.... I hate it and it's bad for the industry. Show it to a casual sports fan and it'll reinforce so much of the negative feeling people have towards the game. You want boxing back on network TV? While this stuff happens it moves further and further away. Imagine a load of sponsors had paid for that in primetime? It would be another 30 years before they'd look at boxing.

The bottom line is protect yourself at all times - but, really.....is it what we want?

Radam G says:

I agree the bottom line is protect yourself at all times - but, really...is it what we want?

Rigondeaux will never admit it, but he already wishes he hadn't done it and the people around him do too. It damaged his marketability more than any boring 12 rounder.

One of these days a really big fight we all wanted to see will end like this, an unbeaten record will go because of it, a fight in a very heated environment where it'll cause a riot and people will get hurt, a fight you've shelled out a small fortune to see will be decided after 30 seconds because someone decides to clock an opponent who is apologizing, some guy travels halfway round the world to see a fight that ends in that fashion.... I hate it and it's bad for the industry. Show it to a casual sports fan and it'll reinforce so much of the negative feeling people have towards the game. You want boxing back on network TV? While this stuff happens it moves further and further away. Imagine a load of sponsors had paid for that in primetime? It would be another 30 years before they'd look at boxing.

The bottom line is protect yourself at all times - but, really.....is it what we want?


He meant to do it. And he has absolutely NO REGRETS. Why would he? He is a boxer with the killer instinct. "Protect yourself at all time." Or be prepared to PAY! Holla!

The Shadow says:

I am very interested to see where Rigo goes from here now that this fight is over. His contract with Top Rank has now expired and he is a promotional free agent. Top Rank and Rigo have shown zero indication that they will be working together going forward. HBO also has zero interest in televising any of his fights. Will Al Haymon be calling? Does Showtime have an interest in showing Rigo now that he is out of the Top Rank deal? It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Personally, I'd love to see a Rigo-Santa Cruz fight happen at some point. Its the ultimate contrast of styles fight in the sport. Rigo's masterful defense and counter punch ability versus the high volume punching of Santa Cruz. For us hardcore fans, its as good as it gets as far as matchup of styles and skill.


We already know what's going to happen

SHO has stated publicly that they want him. Not much to speculate.

If he gets a slot on the September PPV, OMG, I'm going to freakin' lose it!

The way you promote this guy is really not too complicated: stress how unbeatable he is, his invincibility, that he hardly gets touched and let the drama lie in the outcome.

Sorta like Floyd.

You don't take an SUV to a race track. Work with what you got.

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