Shouldn’t Rigo be heading back to Havana? | Inquirer Sports
Bare Eye

Shouldn’t Rigo be heading back to Havana?

/ 05:04 AM December 13, 2017

Where does Guillermo Rigondeaux, two-time Olympic gold medal winner and Fidel Castro’s favorite fighter, go from here?
It was only the first defeat for the 37-year-old Cuban boxing icon who won the gold in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics.

But his sudden surrender in the middle of his championship battle against world junior lightweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine in New York on Sunday earned him the dirty tag of quitter. He has been dumped into a sea of shame.

Can he still crawl back to save face and regain respect and love of his countrymen?
It’s truly pitiful and pathetic, said the respected boxing scholar Paul Magno, who claimed Rigondeaux had been exploited and manipulated.
“There was no way Bob Arum would’ve signed off on this one if he felt there was even the slightest sense that Rigondeaux would beat his prized Lomachenko,” cried Magno. “It was as much of a fix done behind closed doors involving shady characters making shady decisions.”
Of course, it was also Rigondeaux’s fault how he had all too willingly been “duped into a dirty spot with politics and business.”

There may never be an honest explanation on what caused the pullout, a betrayal that brought shame to Cuba.
If it’s any consolation, Lomachenko praised Rigondeaux as a great champion who would’ve been unbeatable in his natural weight.
It’s odd, but didn’t Lomachenko, in this tragic case, also allow himself to be a tool of boxing con artists?

It was complete out of character how a Cuban warrior, weaned in the dire training system down in a dungeon off a lightless alley in Havana, would produce a cowardly result, with the whole world watching.
Any other Cuban fighter would’ve stayed until the end, sustaining the legacy of his revolutionary elders who had stuck to their revolutionary ideals through assorted adversity.
Rigondeaux could be accused of causing dishonor to his country. But going by the cruelty he had to go through away from his homeland, Havana is still the safest battleground to come home to.

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TAGS: Boxing, Guillermo Rigondeaux

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