Manager Gary Hyde says he felt bad hearing the news that the WBO decided to strip Guillermo Rigondeaux of his world title belt, but he also faults both Rigondeaux and the people around him for putting him in this position. Hyde had been Rigondeaux's manager for a number of years, but the two appeared to have something of a falling out, with Rigondeaux opting to wait for his contract with Hyde to expire rather that to take some fights.
Considering that Rigondeaux isn't exactly in high demand -- being the ultimate high-risk/low-reward fighter -- passing on fights when very few were willing while also not having any network backing isn't exactly a recipe for success.
"It saddens me to hear that Rigondeaux has been stripped of his WBO world title and on hearing that the WBA are also considering stripping him," Hyde told Michael Woods of Ring Magazine. "Rigondeaux has worked his whole career to become the best fighter in the world. He was successful in doing this, winning two belts (as well as the RING championship), but he has surrounded himself with people who have ruined his career. No promoter or manager would touch Rigo with a 10-foot pole because these people are too difficult to deal with and they put hurdle after hurdle in front of every opportunity offered to Rigo. This is a nightmare situation for one of the best fighters in the world."
Rigondeaux is indeed one of the very best fighters in the world, but hardly anyone would fault you for not knowing that since the Cuban defector has fought only fifteen times in a seven year career. It also seems pretty clear that the "people" who have ruined Rigondeaux's career, as Hyde puts it, is a thinly-veiled shot at Caribe Promotions, a small-time company who scarcely even have a website. But Hyde doesn't absolve the fighter himself from responsibility.
"Rigo has to take some of the blame for destroying his own career," he said. "He has refused many multi-million dollar opportunities I offered to him over the last couple of years. He needs to get rid of these reptiles and get fighting again because not only will he lose his world titles outside of the ring he will also be forgotten."
As a sad matter of fact, Rigondeaux, now 35 years old, could well turn out to be one of the very best fighters of this generation who might soon fade from the memories of even dedicated fans, disappearing as quickly as he arrived on the scene -- all without so much as a whimper.