Inspired by Olympics, two-time gold medalist Rigondeaux out to 'tame' Casimero

Published August 9, 2021, 6:22 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Cuban veteran boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux, drawing inspiration from the recently concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics, said he will “tame” Filipino boxer and WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero when they clash at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Aug. 14.

Guillermo Rigondeaux and Johnriel Casimero (Premier Boxing Champions)

A two-time Olympic gold medalist himself, Rigondeaux looks back on his winning moments in the quadrennial meet heading into the world title bout against Casimero.

READ: Casimero to Rigondeaux: Don’t run, I want a fight

“It has been a very focused camp, and I have found inspiration watching the Olympics, and it has lit a spark in me. Winning two gold medals in my early years gives me added incentive to win this fight,” said Rigondeaux, who holds a 20-1 record.

“I want to prove to the world that I am one of the best boxers ever, and that I have a lot left to give in this sport. I am confident that I am going to do that against the most avoided fighter in my weight class. Casimero is a dangerous fighter and a very powerful puncher, but I’m going to tame him with great boxing skills.”

READ: Rigondeaux: I will ruin Casimero’s dreams

Rigondeaux has been training with boxer-turned-trainer Ronnie Shields in Texas while Casimero is joined by Filipino legend Manny Pacquiao and Mark Magsayo at the Wild Card Gym.

“I am motivated to work hard, not just to reach my own goals, but by all the young fighters in the gym who are driven and focused. The atmosphere has brought something new out of me. I’m revived and feeling young again,” added Rigondeaux, who ruled the bantamweight division of the 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games.

READ: Gibbons on Casimero-Rigondeaux: We’re fighting the tougher fight

The 40-year-old Rigondeaux, also the regular WBA champion, has not fought since scoring a split decision over Venezuelan boxer Liborio Solis in February last year while Casimero, 32, boasts a six-match win streak with the latest coming from a technical knockout win against Ghanaian slugger Duke Micah last September.

Casimero, who owns a 30-4 slate, is currently training with Team Pacquiao’s Nonoy Neri. The two bantamweight stars will dispute Casimero’s WBO belt.