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RING strips Guillermo Rigondeaux of junior featherweight title

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In a much deliberated decision, RING magazine has decided to strip Guillermo Rigondeaux of their 122lb title while acknowledging that they allowed him to retain the title for much longer than their policy dictates.

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Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 KOs) has just lost the last remaining title he was clinging to (discounting the WBC's International Silver title). This may not be a big deal to some who don't put much stock into RING magazine's belts anyway, but it was all that Rigo really had left after long stretches of inactivity caused him lose the WBA and WBO titles that he previously held.

RING mentions that their decision was carefully considered, and that they actually gave Rigo plenty of leeway, allowing him to retain their title well beyond what their policy dictates. Specifically, their policy requires their champion to face a top 5 rated boxer in any division within 18-months to retain their title -- yet they let Rigo hold onto the belt for nearly three years (since beating Nonito Donaire) because they recognize his talent and know top fighters have avoided him like the plague.

The problem Rigo has also played a role in how his career has progressed, and there's no real end in sight. And his next opponent in James Dickens (rated 74th at junior featherweight by BoxRec) certainly didn't help his cause.

So RING says they considered the possibilities of what to do under these circumstances. They've could've allowed him to keep their belt awhile longer, but there's no guarantee that he'll face another top rated opponent in the near future, so that could just go on indefinitely. They could've stripped Rigo and rated him under Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg, but it's clear that they've been the ones avoiding him. Or RING could've stripped Rigo, rate him at No. 1, and drop Quigg and Frampton to No. 2 and No. 3, waiting to see what happens in the upcoming Frampton-Quigg fight. They ultimately decided to go with this last option.

If either Quigg or Frampton put on a patriularly compelling performance in their fight, which may cause RING to catapult them to No. 1 and then the winner faces Rigo, that would be for their vacant 122lb title. If Quigg and Frampton rematch, that could also conceivably be for the RING title if one of those men occupies the No. 1 ranking (with the other being rated no lower than No. 3) after this upcoming fight.

So Rigo is no longer the RING champion, but he's still in a position to regain it depending on how things play out. We shall see...