Cuban star may target two from SA
Cuban star Guillermo Rigondeaux could shift his focus towards South Africa’s Jeffrey Mathebula and Takalani Ndlovu soon.
Rigondeaux made the first defence of his WBA super-bantamweight belt in Las Vegas on Saturday night when he fought Teon Kennedy on the undercard of the tournament in which Manny Pacquiao fought Timothy Bradley.
The Cuban has battled to find opponents. "Thanks to Teon Kennedy for being here, because everybody else has been backing away," he said at the final media conference on Thursday.
"Everybody else" could include Pacquiao's fellow Filipino Nonito Donaire, the WBO super-bantamweight champion, Japan's Toshiaki Nishioka, who holds the WBC title, and IBF champion Jeffrey Mathebula, not to mention Abner Mares or former IBF champion Ndlovu.
Donaire and Mathebula are scheduled to fight in a unification bout in Los Angeles on July 7.
Rigondeaux hopes to build his professional resume. He was a late arrival to the professional ranks after an amateur career that included two Olympic gold medals.
He was relatively restrained in his press conference remarks, but told Elnuevoherald.com in no uncertain terms that he believes the division's top fighters are dodging him.
"All other so-called champions of the division have hidden," he said. "My promotional team has tried to reach them, but do not receive responses. They are cowards."
Rigondeaux, 31 and widely acknowledged as a tremendous talent, has been a professional for just three years. Seven of his first nine bouts ended in knockouts.
He won the WBA belt with a sixth-round knockout of Rico Ramos on January 20, dropping Ramos with a left in the first round and driving the champion into a defensive shell that displeased fans.