Written by Tré Berry III | 08/15/2021
Okay…if you follow this page, you know we deliver it to you the way we see it. This fight was horrible…and an argument can be made that this was the worst fight of the last 15 years. Former 122 lb. Champion 🇨🇺Guillermo Rigondeaux’s (20-2-0, 13KO) pathetic display of Tour-de-France bicycle racing made fans collective eyes bleed at the ascending action hub of Dignity Health Sports Park. With that said, we had a matador holding the red flag doing donuts in the parking lot at 20 mph, and a bull who had a hard time catching up to it, so that is my way of saying that we all lost an hour of our lives watching this bout.
Sadly, taking that out of the equation, the fight was remarkably close in the scoring aspect. Filipino reigning WBO Bantamweight world titlist 🇵🇭John Riel Casimero (31-4-0, 21KO) was fortunate to have two of the three judges favor that he actually tried to make it a fight, and he was able to leave the ring, with his WBO 118 lb. World Title still on his shoulder for his official second title defense.
As mentioned earlier, the fight was fought at Dignity Health Sports Park….but Rigondeaux apparently left his dignity at home. If you want a metaphor to describe what unfolded in front of our frustrated eyes tonight…it was reminiscent of a Firefighter attempting to do his job and put out a fire….the firefighter being Rigondeaux, who was 99% defense the entire night, and Casimero, dealing with the blanket that was covering his flame. Whatever is left of that blanket after it burns should be thrown in the dumpster for all of our sakes.
If you still want to read about the details of the fight after THAT poignant analogy…here we go. The first half of the opening frame was Rigondeaux establishing distance, and taking advantage of Casimero’s footwork, sneaking in a couple of nice straight left hands…at least in the first round there was a sense of an interesting fight taking place.
Casimero hit Guillermo in the back of the head, which put him down, and John Riel wailed away with power shots while he was down. Esteemed Referee Jerry Cantu properly didn’t rule it a knockdown, but gave Casimero a break, but more should’ve been done in terms of taking a point away, instead of a hard warning.
The second round, Rigondeau readjusted very nicely, getting back to his lateral foot movement, circling outside to force Casimero to step into his range, and he managed to land a couple of hard left crosses that certainly got the Filipino’s attention. The third round was the start of WAY too much foot movement, far too much for the Carson, California crowd, as Rigondeaux hopped on his proverbial bicycle the full three minutes. Perhaps he was trying to frustrate Casimero? perhaps it was working at this point, but it certainly frustrated me, as well as the fans in attendance. Moving is perfectly fine, but it clearly went way past the line of overly excessive.
Round 5, Casimero did a slightly better job in dealing with Rigondeaux’s plight to run track, cutting the ring off a bit more effectively than in previous rounds, and getting in a few heavy left hooks underneath Rigo’s low lead left hand in guard. Guillermo in round 6 stood his ground a bit more, but was still very, very reserved with his economic output, and Casimero was largely kept at bay with feints – an uneventful round…like the rest of the fight.
Casimero in round 7 finally stopped chasing the rabbit, and stood his ground center ring, and taunted Rigo in order to keep him at bay, so Guillermo stood in front of him in spots, and made Casimero miss badly, embarrassing him, but didn’t make him pay for much in the round, or the next. Casimero decided to sell out a little more in terms of aggression to cut the distance between the two, and landed a few impressive unorthodox combinations, centered around the right hand – it wasn’t much, but perhaps it was enough for the uneventful action taking place.
Round 9 in the middle of Rigondeaux’s FitBit routine, caught Casimero with a very sneaky right hook that knocked Casimero horribly off balance. There’s no need to break this fight down any further, as it was a replay of the fight from the third round on. The sad part is that by the letter of the law in the scoring, that Rigondeaux could have actually claimed victory…but the problem for boxing would have been…is this something that we really want to reward
It was probably good for the sanity of boxing fans that Casimero walked out of the arena with a Split-Decision victory, with Judges Tim Cheatham 115-113 (Rigo), Robert Hoyle 117-111 (Casimero), Daniel Sandoval 116-112 (Casimero) collectively seeing the fight in his favor. Rigondeaux at this point…it is hard to see any active Promoter booking him for a major fight ever again, and it would be justified if they phase him out into eventual retirement. As for Casimero, in the post-fight interview, he in his own way expressed interest in getting the fight with Filipino legend/WBC Titlist 🇵🇭Nonito Donaire back on, or to challenge the Bantamweight Champion of the World 🇯🇵Naoya Inoue, for what would undoubtedly be the biggest fight of his career.