Rigondeaux regains momentum at the expense of Dickens’ jaw

Rigondeaux regains momentum at the expense of Dickens’ jaw

Cuban great Guillermo Rigondeaux (17-0, 11KO) retained his WBA world super-bantamweight title without taking a meaningful punch at the Ice Arena Wales in Cardiff bay.

The untouchable star forced Liverpool’s James ‘Jazza’ Dickens (22-2, 7KO) to retire on his stool after just two rounds in the co-headline attraction of Frank Warren’s show, which was broadcast live on BoxNation.

A quiet opening round was played out in the middle of the ring, with neither boxer moving close to the ropes. As the southpaws circled each other, both tried feints but it was Dickens who bit first and received two powerful backhands as a price. He appeared flustered but unhurt and quickly regained his composure.

That left hand from ‘El Chacal’ reappeared to start the second round and landed hard on Dickens, who didn’t appear to see it coming. It stopped the challenger in his tracks and he didn’t throw anything of note for the rest of the round.

Paul and Mick Stevenson, the brothers who are co-trainers of Dickens at Everton Red Triangle, rightly decided to withdraw Dickens from the fight before the third round started. It soon emerged that the shot that stunned Dickens also broke the right side of his jaw and it started to swell straight away.

It left the crowd underwhelmed but they understood and applauded both boxers, especially Rigondeaux who has won many fans in Wales with his generosity throughout fight week.

Rigondeaux is widely regarded as one of the world’s best pound-for-pound boxers, having won two Olympic gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 events. That amateur pedigree easily transferred to the professional code where he has won WBA, WBO and Ring magazine belts to be regarded as the best super-bantamweight in the world.

Such is Rigondeaux’s dominance, barely anyone in his division has dared to mention his name, let alone fight him. It has left Rigondeaux out of options in America and partly disillusioned by the sport. American broadcaster HBO decline to showcase Rigondeaux following a series of underwhelming performances, when he used his skills to cruise to dull decisions.

Dickens had only been beaten once in his five-year career. The Scouser was leading on the judges’ scorecards against Yorkshire’s Kid Galahad, who has since served a drugs ban, before tiring and being stopped in the penultimate round.

In the post-fight interview, Frank Warren said that he may hold a show in Wales on 17 September and it could feature Rigondeaux for a second time.