Pound-for-pound superstar Rigondeaux ready to put on a showcase for Welsh fans

Pound-for-pound superstar Rigondeaux ready to put on a showcase for Welsh fans

Cuban great Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0, 10KO) is ready to put the last 19 months behind him and start a new chapter as world champion in Cardiff.

The pound-for-pound superstar will fight at the Ice Arena Wales against Liverpool’s James ‘Jazza’ Dickens (22-1, 7KO) and the WBA world super-bantamweight title will be back on the line, live on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437).

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 15.17.00It will be Rigondeaux’s eighth defence overall but first since being reinstated as champion of the governing body, who placed him as ‘Champion in Recess’ to allow the Carl Frampton-Scott Quigg unification fight to happen in February.

Speaking of the situation, 35-year-old Rigondeaux said: “We’re always in shape, always waiting for the next fight. I’ve had to wait but I’m always ready to go.

“I assure you it’s going to be a great show. We had a great training camp, we’re coming to please the fans. We fight all styles and I usually adapt when I get in the ring, that’s when I know what type of fight it will be.”

They were supposed to fight in March, only for visa complications to delay Rigondeaux’s entry to the United Kingdom. He did board the flight from Miami this time and arrived on British soil yesterday morning.

Rigondeaux, who is widely considered one of the world’s best boxers across all weight categories, will spend a week in Wales. ‘El Chacal’ will workout with his trainer Pedro Diaz at Gary Lockett’s gym in Cardiff Bay and hopes it won’t be his last visit to the city.

He said: “You guys love boxing and here you have me. Hopefully you like my performance and you want me back. I’m more than happy to come back here and fight because your country has great fans and I appreciate the support I’ve received.

“I haven’t had a chance to look around the city because I’ve been running about since I got here, moving around but between my workouts, I’ve seen it’s very pretty here. I wish I had a little bit more time to get to know this place.”

Guillermo RigondeauxWales will be the sixth country that Rigondeaux has fought in during his 17-fight career, following appearances in America, China, Japan, Ireland and Mexico. The five foot four inch tall magician appears to place no importance on home advantage, a rare attitude in an age where so many boxers are keen to utilise every possible outside-of-the-ring advantage.

Rigondeaux said: “I’ll fight in your back yard, if you want? I’ll fight anywhere; as long as these guys have the courage to fight me then I’ll be there.

“Everyone has their own way of thinking, I’m the way that I am and you can count on me to fight anybody in the world and the best boxers in the world, which is what fans want from us as fighters. All these guys are scared and don’t give the boxing world what they want.”

Fans will get an opportunity to see Rigondeaux and Dickens, plus other boxers from the bill, at an open workout tomorrow. It will start at 12pm and be held on Queen Street in Cardiff city centre, outside the Capitol shopping centre.