Guillermo Rigondeaux-Ricardo Cordoba For Interim WBA Super-Bantamweight Title - Too Much Too Soon For “El Chacal?”

By James Slater - Though the main event of Manny Pacquiao against Antonio Margarito will, for good and bad reasons, mostly bad, get the lion’s share of the headlines on November 13th, the supporting bout to the WBC light-middleweight title fight is deserving of its share of fan attention.

After just six pro bouts - all wins, 5 inside the distance - two-time Olympic gold medal winner and all round amateur standout Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba will challenge for his first “world” title on the Texas bill. Taking on the experienced Ricardo Cordoba of Panama, 29-year-old Rigondeuax, known as “The Jackal,” will be trying win the interim version of the WBA super-bantamweight title after less than eighteen months of pro experience.. Is the gifted southpaw who had all those amateur bouts being moved too quickly?

Cordoba, a southpaw like Rigondeaux, is actually the younger man at age 25. However, the former holder of the title he will be attempting to regain in November has had well over five times the number of pro fights the Cuban defector has had, and Cordoba has rumbled with a number of world champions. Beaten just twice in his career (37 wins, 2 draws, with 23 KO’s), Cordoba, known as “Maestrito,” has had no less than five world title fights.

Finally, after losing on points and drawing twice in WBA bantamweight title challenges, Cordoba won the interim WBA 122-pound belt by decisioning Luis Alberto Perez in September of 2008. Losing the belt in his first defence, to Ireland’s Bernard Dunne, in a great action fight that saw both men hit the mat before the 11th-round stoppage win for Dunne, Cordoba now aims to rule again. No doubt when he looked at Rigondeaux’s lack of pro experience, Cordoba, who has won three in a row since the 2009 loss to Dunne, felt the fight being offered to him was something of a gift.

But are we about to see a new star born in the 122-pound weight class? And are we about to see another fighter win a world title before having seen his pro numbers reach double figures?

We’ve seen “novice-like” challengers shock established champions before. The name Leon Spinks is always destined to spring to mind when thinking of such a subject. “Neon Leon,” as fans know, upset the great Muhammad Ali after having only had eight pro fights (and one a draw, at that!). And while Rigondeaux won’t score as big a shock as the gap-toothed Spinks did back in 1978 if he beats Cordoba, he will do something quite amazing all the same.

A pro since May of last year, Rigondeaux has yet to go beyond eight rounds. Also, though he has been matched pretty tough thus far, the poker-faced would-be star has not met anyone close to as good as the Panamanian. Still, at age 29 Rigondeaux’s handlers must feel he has no time to hang around, and they must also believe he has the stuff needed to handle a former champion. It’s a big gamble, nonetheless, and if Rigondeaux did lose, his team would likely get the blame.

Rigoindeaux’s friend and countryman, Yuriorkis Gamboa was moved almost as quickly, though, and he made it to the top of the featherweight heap. The fearless Rigondeaux may well prove that he is an even faster learner than the current WBA featherweight champ!

A 50-50 fight, November 13th’s support bout could be a far better fight that the main headliner.

Article posted on 09.09.2010

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