WBA and RING magazine super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux is ready to step in as an opponent for Leo Santa Cruz on the January 17 Showtime undercard of Bermane Stiverne versus Deontay Wilder.
Rigondeaux has characterized his 2014 as “disgraceful” due to alleged avoidance by the other title-holders at 122 pounds. Rigondeaux fights for the second time this year in Japan when he faces Hisashi Amagasa on New Year’s Eve. This bout, like his previous win over Sod Kokietgym in July (KO1), will be off U.S. TV, a situation the Cuban technician blames on reluctant marquee opponents.
“This is my second time fighting in Asia this year. I am very frustrated that the other world belt holders are running scared and won’t fight me,” said Rigondeaux. “It’s disgraceful that we couldn’t find a world-class, 122-pound fighter to fight me, so, I would like to thank Amagasa for dropping down from featherweight (126 lbs. division) to challenge me. I will put on an explosive fireworks display on New Year’s Eve in Japan.”
Santa Cruz, who holds the WBC super bantamweight strap, has stated he wants to unify with at least one other titlist before moving up to featherweight for a possible showdown with Abner Mares. Shoulld Santa Cruz opt for another champion such as Carl Frampton (IBF) or Scott Quigg (WBA), Rigondeaux’s manager Gary Hyde says his fighter is still likely to make a big announcement next month.
“In January, we will sit down and discuss the terms of a promotional contract that was initially offered to us this past summer and is now back on the table,” said Hyde, possibly alluding to past rumors of negotiations with Roc Nation Sports. “Hopefully, we will come to an agreement with this promotional company and ‘Rigo’ will be back fighting on mainstream television networks in 2015.”