DO not run.
Plain and simple, that’s Johnriel Casimero’s message to Guillermo Rigondeaux three weeks before they clash in Carson, California where the Filipino stakes his World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight crown.
The champion said he’s looking forward for Rigondeaux to engage him in a toe-to-toe battle and give fans a great treat on August 14 at the Dignity Health Sports Park.
Otherwise, it could be a long, boring night if and when Rigondeaux fights the way he used to.
“I want this to be a fight. The fans want this to be a fight. I hope Rigondeaux doesn’t run. If he does, this will be a boring fight,” said Casimero in a virtual press conference on Thursday (Manila time) to promote the 12-round bout.
“His old fights are no good. All he does is run, run, run. I want the Rigondeaux that doesn’t run, the one that boxes and fights.”
The 40-year-old challenger from Cuba is a two-time Olympic gold medalists known for his crafty, technical style of fighting who is a two-world division champion.
His record of 20-1-1, with 13 KOs includes a win over Filipino Nonito Donaire Jr. who beat outpointed in 2013 during their unification fight.
Although regarded as a boxing talent, Rigondeaux though is not a known crowd-pleaser, with a fighting style that doesn’t excite and interest serious boxing fans.
And it’s the reason Casimero is urging his Cuban challenger to show up fighting once their paths finally crossed inside the ring.
“We just hope that the Rigondeaux that fought Donaire on a bicycle doesn’t show up,” said Casimero. “We want to see the one we’ve seen recently that comes to fight.”
If Rigondeaux does, the reigning champion assured one thing.
“When I beat Rigondeaux on August 14, he’s going to retire. He’s finished. Finito!,” Casimero said.
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