Each year with our annual boxing awards, two of our favorites are the Least Respected Boxer of the Year, and the Most Avoided Boxer of the Year. This year though, we’ve decided to combine them into one. Why? Because it’s essentially a lifetime achievement award for this guy, who is perennially on both lists and can’t escape it.
Guillermo Rigondeaux is Both the Most Avoided & Least Respected Boxer of the Year
Rigondeaux was our 2013 Most Avoided, and a 2014 Most Avoided runner-up. Flipping the script, he was the 2014 Least Respected, and a 2013 Least Respected runner-up. Now, he gets both woeful distinctions.
He fought just once this year, and yes, it was a snoozer of a fight as he whitewashed Drian Francisco on the undercard of the Cotto vs. Canelo pay-per-view. Of course, if it wasn’t up to complete no-hoper opponents to step into the ring against him, maybe somebody could force Rigondeaux into a more engaging fight.
Listen, this isn’t Rignodeaux’s fault. If a guy is such as master defensive boxer, it’s the fault of the opposition if they can’t find any meaningful way to attack, or develop a consistent approach to generating offense.
Rigondeaux would obviously be better served financially and with his marketability if he adapted his style into something more fan-friendly. If he risked being hit a bit more to turn up the heat on the other end. But it’s simply not in his makeup to do so, and he shouldn’t be penalized for it.
Not when in and around his division are fighters such as Carl Frampton, Scott Quigg, Leo Santa Cruz, Vasyl Lomachenko, Gary Russell, Abner Mares and others. None of these guys can give Rigondeaux a real fight and make it intriguing to watch, is that what we’re saying? No, that’s just a tired script and an excuse to not have to fight the vexing Cuban.
He dominated Nonito Donaire, in what was indeed a good fight to watch, yet Donaire continues to be in the spotlight. Scott Quigg was his mandatory, and for the first time I ever recall, the champion basically begged the sanctioning body to enforce his mandatory defense! It was to no avail. A future super-fight could be looming with Vasyl Lomachenko, but it hasn’t come to fruition.
Instead, the former number 2 pound for pound fighter in the world is floundering, unable to get fights or television dates, falling deeper into the recesses of the sport with inactivity and a lack of opportunity.
Least Respected & Most Avoided, all at once.