The status of WBA Super World super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0, 10 KOs), the southpaw from Miami by way of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, has been perplexing. He is one of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world, but he hardly ever fights.
On November 13, 2010, Rigondeaux won the Interim WBA World super bantamweight title by defeating Ricardo Cordoba via split decision in Dublin, Ireland. On January 20, 2012, Rigondeaux knocked out WBA champion Rico Ramos in Las Vegas to become champion of the division.
Rigondeaux became a Unified Champion on April 13, 2013, when he defeated WBO champion Nonito Donaire via unanimous decision at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Since 2012, Rigondeaux has been the subject of managerial/promotional disputes and has only defended his title four times since September 15th of that year, the last defense being on December 31, 2014, against WBA #10 ranked Hisashi Amagasa in Osaka, Japan.
Rigondeaux has also failed to defend his WBO title in a timely manner and his championship belt was revoked this week. More important, Rigondeaux has no immediate plans to defend his WBA title and is well beyond the mandatory defense period.
According to the WBA Rule C.13, “Champions must defend their titles within nine (9) months.” Rule C.22 states, “If a Champion is unavailable to timely defend the title due to injury or other legal impediment, a Champion may be granted status as a Champion in Recess.”
Championship Committee Chairman, Gilberto Jesus Mendoza Jr. stated that “Rigondeaux is presumed to know [that] a champion must regularly defend his title, remain active, and follow the WBA’s instructions regarding title defenses. Rigondeaux has not defended or scheduled to defend his title in a timely fashion culminating in only four bouts since September 15, 2012.
“In light of Rigondeaux’s impressive record and accomplishments, the delays associated with his various managerial/promoter disputes, and the loss of his unification status, Rigondeaux is named Champion in Recess. Rigondeaux must come out of recess and face the Champion on or before May 1, 2016.”
Mendoza determined that under the circumstances, “WBA champion Scott Quigg is authorized via special permit to participate in a unification bout with IBF champion Carl Frampton.”
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.