Guillermo Rigondeaux A Bare-Knuckle Slugger? Reports Say “El Chacal” Will Have His BKFC Debut In May

By James Slater - 02/29/2024 - Comments

Now, this one has come right out of left field. According to reports, Cuban stylist, former amateur standout and former bantam and super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, will add his name to the perhaps slowly developing list of fine boxing champions to have jumped ship to the world of bare-knuckle fighting.

It was indeed a stunner when Paulie “Fragile Hands” Malignaggi decided to test some heads with his bare knuckles, as it was – or is – a shock, perhaps, seeing how well stylist Austin Trout has done in bare-knuckle. But Rigondeaux? Surely this is, or will be, quite the coup for the BKFC organisation if the Cuban lefty really has decided to try and do what Paulie and Austin did.

Rigondeaux, AKA “El Chacal,” was one of the silkiest boxers of his time. Having compiled a 374-12 amateur record, with Rigondeaux winning two Olympic golds, this along with other amateur glories, the stone-faced southpaw then went on to win numerous world titles at paid level. Indeed, for a time, “Rigo” looked unbeatable, the only knock on him being the (unfairly hurled) claim that he was “boring.”

But what might Rigondeaux’s fights at bare-knuckle be like?

According to Michael Benson, who cited MMA Fighting as a source, Rigondeaux will make his BKFC debut at Mohegan Sun on May 11.

So many questions arise as a result of this news.

Will Rigondeaux’s hands hold up? Who will Rigo fight in his debut? How much has Rigondeaux got left at age 43? Also, is Rigo fully recovered from that “freak accident” he was the victim of back in March of 2022, when he suffered eye damage after a pressure cooker blew up in his face in his apartment? One would hope so here, as Rigondeaux, 22-3-1(15) has had two winning fights since the incident.

The Rigondeaux story has proven to be full of twists and turns, but this reported move to bare-knuckle fighting might just be the biggest surprise of all. It will, however, prove interesting seeing how far “El Chacal” can advance in the gloveless world of fighting.