By Ian S Palmer
Undefeated Moises Flores of Mexico will be battling it out with unbeaten WBA Super World Bantamweight Champion Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas this Saturday, June 17th on the undercard of the Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev rematch. The 12-round bout can be seen on pay-per-view in North America while British fans can catch the action live on Sky Sports 1. Flores, the IBO champ and interim WBA champ, last fought in June of last year and beat Paulus Ambunda by a 12-round unanimous decision. Rigondeaux fought last July and stopped James Dickens after two rounds.
The 36-year-old Rigondeaux has fought just 17 times as a pro and has a perfect mark of 17-0 with 11 Kos. Rigondeaux was handed the 122 lb. title after Britain’s Carl Frampton chose not to defend it against him and was stripped of the belt. Frampton then moved up to the featherweight division. In a way, it seems that Rigondeaux’s pro career has been wasted with just 17 contests at his age. However, most opponents duck him and he’s also had promotional problems.
Rigondeaux is a southpaw and former amateur champion with excellent defensive skills. However, that means he’s not the most exciting boxer around. Rigondeaux has pro wins over Nonito Donaire, Hishashi Amagasa, Joseph Agbeko, Rico Ramos and Sod Kokietgym. He stands 5-feet-4-inches tall with a reach of 68 inches. The Cuban’s fought 107 rounds since turning pro in 2009 and has a knockout ratio of 65 per cent. However, he isn’t really regarded as a knockout artist.
He controls the ring in excellent fashion and is quite hard to hit. Fans aren’t usually too thrilled to watch the Rigondeaux fight though since he’s been accused of being over cautious. However, he’s still knocked out 11 of his 17 opponents including five out of the last 10. Rigondeaux was an excellent amateur who won Olympic gold medals in 2000 and 2004 as well as seven Cuban titles and a pair of amateur world championships. Rigondeaux then defected to America in 2009 and fights out of Miami.
The 30-year-old Flores enters the bout with a perfect mark of 25-0 with 17 Kos. He’s 5-feet-9-inches tall with a 69-inch reach and has 114 rounds under his belt since turning pro back in 2008. He’s got pretty good power as well with a current knockout ratio of 65 percent, the same as Rigondeaux. Nicknamed Chucky, Flores has a five-inch height advantage in this contest with a one-inch edge in reach. He doesn’t always use his size by boxing on the outside though as he isn’t afraid to mix it up.
Flores fought in his homeland only for the first several years of his pro career before making his debut in the U.S. in 2014. He faced interim WBA World Super Bantamweight Champion Oscar Escandon in April of 2015 and won the belt by split decision in an entertaining slugfest. He then defended the interim title against Luis Emanuel Cusolito and Ambunda and also won the IBO World Super Bantamweight title with the win over Ambunda.
This fight should be a decent test for Rigondeaux as Flores is six years younger and a hard hitter. He’s also got a good height advantage over the Cuban. However, Rigondeaux is a master boxer and should find a way to win this contest.