Saturday, 7 December 2013

Guillermo Rigondeaux v Joseph Agbeko

Whilst we can laud pure boxing skills all day long boxing is a business and a main event should not be fought in front on a handful of fans. Unfortunately tonight we saw just that as Guillermo Rigondeaux (13-0, 8) defended his WBA "super" and WBO Super Bantamweight titles in front of a scattering of fans at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Rigondeaux, one of the most talented fighters in living memory was expected to be involved in a fight as he took on Joseph Agbeko (29-5, 22) instead what we got was a glorified exhibition. An exhibition that became so uninteresting that only a few members of the press remained in their seat for the bout, and I believe a number of those may well have fallen to sleep.

For the first 6 rounds Rigondeaux landed singes, handcuffed Agbeko with a jab and refused to force the action. Sure it takes two to tango but Agbeko wasn't in a dancing mood. In fact the only thing Agbeko wanted to do was hide behind a tight guard and shuffle forward with little intention of throwing a punch.

By round 7 it appeared even the Cuban was bored. He began to let his shots go in twos and threes and although they were still taken on the gloves of Agbeko he was at least doing something. They weren't having an effect on Agbeko but they were scoring shots and in fact Rigondeaux was landing more than Agbeko was throwing. It was nothing short of a man exhibiting his skills against a human punch bag. Sadly he merely showing off his skills and not how destructive he could be, had he wanted to be destructive then we could have had some entertainment.

For the final few rounds Agbeko slowly began to let his hands go. He wasn't taking many risks but he was finally attempting to fight. This proved to be too little too late and Rigondeaux continued to land the only punches of note in what was one of the most straight forward and simple world title fights of the year.

There was never any doubt in the score cards which were 120-108, in fact if anything the shut out didn't represent the domination of Rigondeaux and it could well have been 120-102 due to how little Agbeko did in a number of the rounds.

Sadly the domination just failed to excite anyone. Thankfully however the fight didn't receive any boos, on the flipside of that, there was no one in the venue to boo the fight. At the end of the day that was only a faint positive as no one will be paying to see another fight like this. I'm afraid that Rigondeaux is giving himself no options. He's too good to fight such a restrained style, but he's too good to change his style. Unless he can find a rival his career is going to be one of the least exciting in history despite the fact he's ridiculously talent.

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