Guillermo Rigondeaux is no Leon Spinks

By Ian “Normen Bates” Sims: Rumor has it; that on a cold February night on a Chicago road 1978 after losing his heavyweight title to an inexperienced Leon Spinks…..Muhammad Ali who was virtually humiliated by the former Olympic champion sprouted out of his house at 2am in the morning, shadowing boxing, running tirelessly, while screaming at the top of his lungs “I gotta get my belt back”. It was the first time In Heavyweight history that a legendary champion would lose his title to a complete novice.

Just as boxing remembers Ali for some of his extraordinary wins his loss to Leon Spinks is without question one of the lowest points in his hall of Fame career.

Minus the trademark gap toothed smile and a world title fight before reaching double digit wins Guillermo Rigondeaux far from Leon Spinks. He is the most accomplished Cuban amateur boxer to ever turn professional after defecting from his native Cuba in 2007. With two Olympic gold medals in 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens in conjunction to two Gold medals at the amateur world championships and Pan American games Rigondeaux is the cream of the crop.

If professional boxing had a draft from the amateurs to the pros much like Football and Basketball the anticipation surrounding Rigondeaux’s arrival is nothing short of a first round draft pick.

Saturday night November 12th under the glaring lights of Arlington Stadium Rigondeaux will challenge Ricardo Cordoba for the WBA Jr. Bantam Weight title. Although Rigondeaux’s resume only harbors the names of six professional fighters his amateur record boasts over two hundred wins and the thirty year old Cuban has the technical ability of a seasoned fighter far beyond six fights.

While Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margartio headline Saturdays event Rigondeaux whose accomplishments are nothing short of legendary in the amateur ranks takes a small step towards legendary stature in the professional ranks.

Not all great amateurs match their success as professionals only time will tell if Rigondeaux can develop into a great pro. None the less Saturday is a small step in the right direction.

Article posted on 13.11.2010

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