By Kurt Wolfheimer at ringside
In the co-feature of the Showtime Championship Boxing card promoted by Premier Boxing Champions in association with TGB Promotions and Kings Promotions, Cuban Guillermo “The Jackal” Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KOs) dropped former super flyweight champion Liborio Solis (30-6-1, 14 KOs) once to capture the vacant WBA world bantamweight title by split decision.
Rigondeaux, the two-time Olympic gold medalist fought like a chess master throughout, frustrating Solis with sharp jabs along with the occasional combination and movement. Rigondeaux set the crowd into an uproar in the seventh by dropping Solis into the ropes for an eight count. Solis regained his composure so Rigondeaux went back into his defensive counters right up until the final bell to end the fight. One judge surprisingly saw it 115-112 for Solis, but was overruled by the other two officials who had it for Rigondeaux by scores of 115-112 and 116-111 for the methodical split decision victory.
Guillermo Rigondeaux: “Our team is with me more than their own families. This isn’t just my victory, but it’s a victory for me whole team to get me this win at this age. Liborio is an excellent fighter, but I saw the opportunity to strike and scored the knockdown. Ronnie Shields is the real champion. The preparation that he gave me for this fight was incredible. Ronnie is one of the best.”
“Solis is an excellent boxer and he gave me a run for my money. It was a competitive fight, congratulations to him for keeping up in the ring, but everyone knows the better fighter got the win. When you get to my level, you just have to keep doing your work, and good things will come to you.
“Like I’ve showed everyone before, I can fight right in the middle of the ring. I tried that in the first round, but after that round, Ronnie Shields told me to show him some boxing and cut the ring off. I’m available for anyone who wants to get in the ring. Who do the fans want to see me fight? I’m ready for any fighter. Now that I’m at my weight, let’s go hunting.”
Liborio Solis: “I thought I won the fight. Going backward is no way to win a vacant title. I put the majority of the pressure on him. I’m not going to argue with the judges, but I thought I did enough to win. The punch surprised me on the knockdown, but I wasn’t hurt. I was ready to fight immediately right after. I hurt him in the first round and that’s what caused him to run. I’d like a rematch because I thought I got the better of him tonight.”