Friday, January 20, 2012

Ramos puts 122-pound title on line vs. Cuban Rigondeaux

Posted by Admin On 11:00 AM

Guillermo Rigondeaux has fought just eight times as a professional, winning all of them. But don't let his lack of pro experience fool you. Rigondeaux is a 31-year-old Cuban who defected in 2007 with former teammate Erislandy Lara.

He's one of the most accomplished amateurs in history, with nearly 400 fights and two Olympic gold medals under his belt.

Since coming to the U.S., Rigondeaux, whose nickname is "El Chacal" (The Jackal) has trained under two of the best in the business, Freddie Roach and Ronnie Shields, his current cornerman.

So Rigondeaux (8-0, 6 KOs), will fight for the WBA super bantamweight title against another unbeaten fighter and the champion, Rico Ramos (20-0, 11 KOs), Friday night (Showtime, 11 p.m. ET) at the Palms Casino in Las Vegas.

It's Ramos' first defense of the title he won by knocking out Akufumi Shimoda in the seventh round last July in Atlantic City. Ramos has not fought since.

Rigondeaux has had an even longer layoff, with his last fight a first-round knockout of Willie Casey in Dublin, Ireland, last March.

Despite Ramos' more extensive professional record and his title belt, Rigondeaux is a heavy favorite.

"A lot of people are doubting me for this fight but who cares?" says Ramos. "It's me and him in that ring. I came to keep that title. I'm the WBA champ and I will stay the champ.

It's hard work to stay the champion. I put a lot of hard work and dedication into this. I'm still moving, man. I've got my son, he's 2, that keeps me motivated. I've got my fans, my friends, my family, it all keeps me motivated."

Rigondeaux, who is nothing if not confident, says, "Of course I should be the betting favorite. What should I expect from Ramos? He has to worry what to expect from me.

"I'm very happy for the opportunity to win a title with less than 10 pro fights. I'm ready for the challenge."


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