A week or so later, and has a fight, or its result – or its so-called complete lack of action – generated such a backlash of reports, of criticism? You know the fight I’m talking about: the John Riel Casimero bantamweight dust-up with Guillermo Rigondeaux. Filipino warrior Casimero won the fight via split decision, yet the big talking point was Cuban stylist Rigondeaux’ “run-job,” his utter lack of willingness to get into a fight.
Point taken, sure, but “Rigo” said after the fight, as he has said before, that slugfests are not his thing – making guys miss and making them pay is his thing. Well, “El Chacal” made Casimero miss plenty, but did the 40-year old make the 32-year-old pay? Not too many people felt so.
But here, Rigondeaux’s trainer Ronnie Shields, in kindly taking the time to speak with ESB, gives his thoughts on the fight and on Rigondeaux’s future.
Q: So much has been said about the fight. Who do you think deserved the decision?
Ronnie Shields: “Well, I thought it was a close fight, but I thought Rigondeaux pulled it out. You know, it’s hit and not get hit. That’s what it is. He [Rigo] made him miss plenty.”
Q: The backlash was Rigondeaux ran. Yet as you know, Terence Crawford had your fighter winning big…..
R.S: “I wasn’t satisfied with everything Rigondeaux was doing, I told him he had to sit down a little bit more [on his punches]. I kind of figured how the judges were gonna score it. He was making the guy miss, you know, it’s not his fault the guy didn’t know how to cut him off. The guy, he didn’t know anything, he was just swinging and swinging, and missing him. Rigondeaux, he’s a boxer, that’s what he does – he makes the other guy miss, and if he can’t make him pay, well…… Rigondeaux is not one of these toe-to-toe guys. That’s not his style. Rigondeaux hit him with good shots and then he made him miss, a lot of shots. Rigondeaux fought his fight, the way he fights. Love him or hate him, that’s what he does. I felt he outboxed him; the other guy didn’t really know what to do.”
Q: What’s next for Rigondeaux, and will you carry on working with him?
R.S: “Casimero was unable to cut the ring off, and I want to say something about his promoter, Sean Gibbons. He [Gibbons] said Rigondeaux should be banned from boxing for being so boring, or he said something like that. Well, I say his fighter, or at least his trainer, should be banned, because he as a world champion had no idea at all how to cut the ring off. They should be ashamed of themselves of how they didn’t know how to cut the ring off on another fighter. That’s ridiculous.
“But of course I will carry on working with him, absolutely. He’s a top fighter and that’s what I do. His footwork and his boxing were great.”
Q: Can Casimero beat Nonito Donaire and/or Naoya Inoue, who he has been calling out?
R.S: “I don’t think so. I think Donaire would walk through him, I think Inoue would walk through him also.”
Q: Just finally, how do you see tomorrow’s big one with Manny Pacquiao and Yordenis Ugas going?
R.S: “I see Pacquiao winning a wide decision. I think Ugas is a really good fighter, but I see Pacquiao bringing a little too much for him. I don’t see a knockout, of course it could happen, but I don’t see a knockout either way. I see Pacquiao winning by wide decision.”