Guillermo Rigondeaux to be stripped of non-exisent belt due to WBO move

Guillermo Rigondeaux

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Guillermo Rigondeaux will challenge John Riel Casimero for the WBO bantamweight title but will get stripped by the WBN-declassified WBA for his trouble.

The talented Cuban veteran owned the WBA secondary belt to “super” champion Naoya Inoue. However, you’d be hard-pressed to final many people who thought the title existed in the first place.

Rigondeaux was, in effect, a non-title holder. Therefore, he wanted the opportunity to win a bonafide belt with the WBO. The WBA and WBO previously couldn’t agree on sanctions.

The eventual choice made by Rigo solidifies that he feels the WBO is the one worth fighting for this weekend.

When he enters the ring against Casimero, the belt will officially become vacant.

World Boxing Association chiefs are coming under heavy fire of late for their consistently controversial actions. They include stripping Manny Pacquiao during a pandemic and elevating Mahmoud Charr to heavyweight “champion in recess” to allow Bermane Stiverne – without a win in years – to face Trevor Bryan for the vacant “regular” belt.

The final straw for even more fans and media alike came when a blatant robbery decision was handed to Gabriel Maestre against Mykal Fox.

To cap it off, the judge with the worst scorecard had a history of racist tweets. Gloria Martinez Rizzo was suspended for six months and “might be expelled” by the WBA for her actions.

WBN de-recognized the WBA earlier this year for a host of misdemeanors. Since then, things have gone from bad to worse.

GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX NON-TITLE

Nothing got done to reduce the number of title belts in circulation. Furthermore, some of the continued decisions to add more and more interim and gold title bouts are pure madness.

At present, WBN recognizes only the WBC [with hopes they too will reduce belts], the WBO [who also shun bin the Global title], and the IBF.

The latter seems to be the only organization to get it right when it comes to having one sole champion per division. Fans and media appreciate this in equal measure.

Let’s hope more resistance against these so-called titles will lead to a brighter future for the sport.

The views expressed in this article are opinions of Phil Jay.

Phil Jay is the Editor of WBN. An Auxiliary member of the Boxing Writers Association of America since 2018. And a member of the Sports Journalists’ Association. Follow on Twitter @PhilJWBN.