Guillermo Rigondeaux sure had a tough time landing an opponent when he was a major titleholder, but now that the WBO has stripped him of his shiny belt, it could only prove to get more difficult. Yesterday the WBO, in a unanimous vote, decided to officially strip Rigondeaux of his title because of his inactivity - with Rigondeaux not having fought since December 2014 while not even having one on the horizon. While Rigondeaux was afforded an opportunity to "show cause" why he shouldn't be stripped by the organization, the sanctioning body ultimately rejected his plea. The WBO stated in their ruling:
"This committee shares Team Rigondeaux's opinion that he is a fighter of utmost skill and pedigree, a gifted athlete that is not only perhaps the greatest amateur boxer ever, but also one of the top pound-for-pound professionals in the world, and we also recognize that Mr. Rigondeaux's talent, record of accomplishment and complicated style, invariably pose difficulties securing premium fights on the top-tier stage. But that it is the boxing promoter's paramount responsibility -- not ours or that of any sanctioning organization for that matter -- to secure, organize, and produce such fights."
Rigondeaux seems to be the perfect case study in high-risk/low-reward, with the two-time Cuban gold medalist having plenty of difficulty landing any significant fight because he's 1) just that good, 2) brings almost no money to the table, and 3) isn't aligned with a major promoter. Talk about a recipe for disaster...
Now the WBO will order a fight between Cesar Juarez (17-3, 13 KOs) and Nonito Donaire (35-3, 23 KOs) to fill their now-vacant title. Of course Nonito Donaire was the same guy that Rigo took to school a few years back, thoroughly dismantling Donaire to the point where he hasn't looked like the same fighter since -- with at least some people believing that Rigondeaux effectively ruined Donaire as elite fighter.
The 35-year-old master craftsman isn't getting any younger, and it's looking like he'll never make a major impact in the sport, despite being one of it's very best operators.