A Guillermo Rigondeaux no contest ruling is the last thing ‘El Chacal’ needs in a professional fight career filled with frustration for him.
Reports have come in that the Nevada State Athletic Commission is planning to change the first round knockout win for Cuban amateur phenom turned undefeated professional champion Guillermo Rigondeaux to a no contest ruling.
Facing the interim champion and mandatory challenger Mexican Moises Flores, it is expected that the World Boxing Association (WBA) to order a rematch as a result of the NSAC ruling should it be officially confirmed.
The bout lasted only one round when, with both boxers in a clinch and the referee, Vic Drakulich stepping in between the two fighters as the bell sounded, both boxers threw punches after the bell mid combinations.
Flores’ punch missed while a left from Rigondeaux connected sending Flores to the canvas to be counted out by Drakulich.
With the referee as the sole judge of the fight at this circumstance, he headed ringside to view the replay from the HBO video truck.
Without access to sound, something necessary to make the correct ruling on bell timing and relying solely on communications with the truck; it had incorrectly communicated to Drakulich that Rigondeaux’s punch came before the bell.
Drakulich, after meeting with NSAC executive director Bob Bennett at ringside, then awarded the fight to the Cuban two time Olympic gold medallist via first round knockout.
It was actually Bennett who was the conduit for the bad information after he admitted to the HBO broadcast team that he had been told twice that the punch from Rigondeaux had come before the bell.
After some on-air questioning from Jim Lampley and Max Kellerman, Bennett had said that he may have been mistaken or an error in communication had occurred and had promised to review the footage once more with full audio.
Here’s what happened:
Since it is apparent that the punch was unintentionally thrown after the bell, with fighters merely protecting themselves as instructed, but done so nevertheless anyway, the ruling will be changed.
Bennett said to ESPN that he and Drakulish have since reviewed the tape once again and found said conclusion and is the reason it will be changed from a Rigondeaux victory to a no contest.
Nevada rules state that a verdict to overturn a judgement cannot be made without a vote by a meeting of the four commissioners and such a meeting must be given a three business day advance notice to the public before the meeting is held.
Tom Brown of TGB Promotions, the promoter of Moises Flores stated to ESPN:
“Clearly, the punch landed after the bell and I have complete faith in the Nevada Athletic Commission to overturn the decision. We’ll send an official protest to the athletic commission and wait for them to make their decision and I’m sure it will be declared a no decision.”
Certainly a bizarre twist in the strange career that is Guillermo Rigondeaux.
A fighter whose awe-inspiring athleticism (and a legendary amateur career that has spanned countless tournament gold medals, two Olympic golds, and mesmerizing record of 475-12 in competition) has only been overshadowed by recent inactivity and the constant barrage of complaints from boxing writers and fans alike that his style of deceptive defensive maneuvering and devastating counter-punching has been dull to watch.
After the bout, in the ring, Rigondeaux said through a translator:
“I commend him (Flores) for getting in the ring with me. He has more guts than a lot of these other guys. We both threw combinations at the same time at the end of the first round. But mine was quicker and more accurate. It was only a matter of time. I fight to give the best performance to the public and all the fans. I am making everyone disappear at 122. I am always available. Tell me who is next.”
Rigondeuax’s current professional record stands at 18-0 with 12KO wins, while Flores currently stands before the commissioners’ meeting at 25-1 with 17KO wins and one no contest.
Flores should be expected to have his WBA interim and IBO super bantamweight championships restored with the NSAC ruling.
Rigondeaux maintains the lineal and WBA super championships, yet officially has Flores’ championships until the ruling is official.