By Fox Doucette
Cuban amateur legend and fast-rising contender Guillermo Rigondeaux (8-0, 6 KOs) looks to capture a world title in only his ninth pro fight as he takes on WBA junior featherweight champ Rico Ramos (20-0, 11 KOs) at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas on Friday night, January 20th.
Rigondeaux, who successfully defected from Cuba in 2009 after a long and illustrious amateur career that included gold medals at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games as a bantamweight in addition to several other gold medals at the Pan Am Games (2003) and World Amateur Championships (2001 and 2005), took the world by storm as a pro, beating seasoned professional Ricardo Cordoba in November of 2010 to capture a minor belt and position himself as a contender for the WBA strap. His last fight was a first-round TKO of then-undefeated Willie Casey last March; Rigondeaux has been inactive for the past ten months.
Rico Ramos made his name on ESPN and on pay-per-view undercards compiling a record against above-average competition before getting his title shot, a win over Akifumi Shimoda of Japan by seventh-round knockout in a fight Ramos was winning handily on the cards at the time of the stoppage. Ramos and Rigondeaux are currently ranked sixth and twelfth respectively in the Boxing Tribune’s world rankings.
This bout will headline Showtime’s ShoBox series; on the undercard will be middleweights Brandon Gonzales (15-0, 10 KOs) taking on Caleb Truax (18-0-1, 10 KOs) and a junior bantamweight contest between Matthew Villanueva (6-0-1, 6 KOs) and Michael Ruiz Jr. (8-1-1, 3 KOs.). The card airs at 11 PM Eastern/8 PM Pacific.
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