BOXER: GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX
NICKNAME: EL CHACAL (THE JACKAL)
DIVISION: SUPER BANTAM WEIGHT
DATE OF BIRTH: SEPTEMBER 30, 1980
BORN: SANTIAGO DE CUBA, CUBA
LIVES: MIAMI, FLORIDA
RECORD: 17-1 (11 KO)
Guillermo “El Chacal” Rigondeaux is the WBA Super World Super Bantamweight champion of the world and a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
A native of Cuba, Rigondeaux first stepped into a boxing ring at the age of 13 and instantly mesmerized spectators with his raw talent and drive. Almost immediately, he earned an invite to the Cuban National Team’s training camp in Havana – nicknamed “La Finca” – which is renowned for transforming young boxers into amateur superstars.
When Rigondeaux received his first taste of the limelight at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, he dominated the field of 32 and decisively dispatched Russia’s Raimkul Malakhbekovin to claim gold for the bantamweight division. At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Rigondeaux re-wrote the Cuban record books yet again, winning his second consecutive gold medal with a victory over Thailand’s Worapoj Petchkoom.
By the age of 28, Rigondeaux had captured multiple gold medals at the Pan Am Games, World Amateur Championships, World Cups and Olympics. Along the way, he amassed a 463-12 record, solidfying his standing as one of the most decorated amateur boxers in the history of the sport.
Although Rigondeaux reveled in his amateur victories, he yearned to showcase his skills among the world’s elite professional boxers. With his family’s support, Rigondeaux defected from Cuba in February 2009 and moved to Miami, where he turned pro and re-connected with Cuban boxing counterparts such as Yuriorkis Gamboa, Erislandy Lara and Odlanier Solis.
The leap from amateur to professional proved to be seamless for Rigondeaux. In just his seventh career pro fight, Rigondeaux secured the vacant WBA interim super bantamweight world title after a split-decision win against Ricardo Cordoba. Less than two years later, he knocked out Rico Ramos and crowned as the full WBA super bantamweight champion, becoming a world titleholder in fewer than 10 professional bouts.
Rigondeaux would maintain that momentum, scoring a unanimous decision over 2012 Fighter of the Year and Ring Magazine World Champion Nonito Donaire on April 13, 2013 to unify the WBO and WBA Super Bantamweight world titles. After stringing together three more victories, Rigondeaux endured a brief period of inactivity – that resulted in the loss of his title belts – but remained the WBA champion in recess.
Then in November 2015, Rigondeaux started the next chapter of his decorated career by inking an exclusive promotional agreement with Roc Nation Sports. In his first fight under the Roc Nation Sports banner, he showed little sign of rust, triumphantly defeating Drian Francisco on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-Canelo Alvarez fight in Las Vegas.
During the summer of 2016, the WBA would ultimately reinstate Rigondeaux as the super bantamweight champion ahead of his fight against Jazza Dickens. In his first-ever appearance in the United Kingdom, Rigondeaux gave fans a thrilling performance, shattering Dickens’ jaw with a second-round knockout.
One year later, he returned to Las Vegas to take on Moises Flores as part of the co-feature of the Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev rematch on June 17, 2017. Although Rigondeaux initially scored a first-round knockout over Flores, the Nevada State Athletic Commission reviewed the decision, concluded that the devastating punch occurred after the first-round bell and voted unamiously to overturn the result to a no-contest.
Rigondeaux is currently training for the biggest bout of his career on Dec. 9, when he will take on junior lightweight world titleholder Vasyl Lomachenko at the Theater at Madison Square Garden on ESPN. The fight will mark the first time that two, two-time Olympic gold medal winners will compete against one another in the ring.