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Guillermo Rigondeaux Returns To Ring After Horrific Accident

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and multi-division world champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-3, 13 KOs) is back in action this weekend in Hialeah, Florida. He is the main event of a Warriors Boxing card that is promoted by Leon Margules. The 42-year-old Rigondeaux is fighting for the first time in over a year, facing off against Jesus Martinez (33-17-1, 16 KOs).

This is surprising considering less than a year ago Rigondeaux burned both of his corneas and lost 80% of his vision in an accident while using a pressure cooker. He was cooking Cuban black beans at his Miami home when the pressure cooker exploded and sent steaming water splashing into his face. He was then transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center, where his eyes were injected with anesthesia and bandaged, and was later released. Originally the thought was that Rigondeaux’s boxing career would be over as a result of the injury, but he recovered faster than expected, and will find himself once again in the squared circle come Friday night.

(Photo via The Mirror)

In his prime, Rigondeaux was one of the most skilled boxers we have seen in the history of the sport. At this point in his career, however, I am left wondering what he is looking for out of his comeback. I am really hoping that he is not fighting because he needs to, but because he wants to.

Rigondeaux defeated future hall of famer Nonito Donaire (42-7, 28 KOs) by unanimous decision back in 2013 in one of best performances of the modern era. That was a decade ago, and Rigondeaux is now in a much different position, coming off of two consecutive defeats. Though I thought he did enough to win both of those fights, father time is undefeated, and he is no longer the fighter he once was in his heyday.

There is a belief that Rigondeaux still has enough left in the tank to make another run at 118lbs. With Naoya Inoue (24-0, 21 KOs) moving up to 122lbs, the bantamweight division is wide open and even this version of Rigondeaux may find himself back in the title picture. Luis de Cubas compared Rigondeaux to hall of famer Roberto Duran, and believes that he could share a similar fate in the twilight of his career.

“I think Guillermo Rigondeaux hasn’t said the last word in his career yet,” said event promoter and one of the heads of Warriors Boxing, Luis de Cubas Sr. “I was lucky to be the manager of an already veteran Roberto Durán and he achieved many things when everyone said he couldn’t take it anymore. With Guillermo this can happen again.”

In the history of the sport we have seen generational talents fight way beyond their best days too often, which leaves a sour taste in the mouth of fans. Hopefully Rigondeaux is just coming back for a fight or two before he rides off into the sunset and enjoys retirement with his family. It was amazing to hear how he was able to recovery quickly from his accident, and for a guy who had to sacrifice so much just to get to the US, I wish him the best in the remainder of not only his boxing career, but his life as a whole as well.

The event will take place at the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino. Doors open at 6:00pm EST with the first bout scheduled to begin at 7:00pm EST.

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Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly