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2-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux Reportedly Set To Debut In Bare-Knuckle Boxing On May 11th

2-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux Reportedly Set To Debut In Bare-Knuckle Boxing On May 11th featured image
Guillermo Rigondeaux is set to make his bare-knuckle boxing debut on May 11th according to BKFC president David Feldman. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Former two-weight world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux will be making his bareknuckle boxing debut soon. As reported by boxing editor Michael Benson, the 43-year old Cuban is set to compete on a fight card organized by the US-based BKFC (Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship) this year and will debut on May 11th at the Mohegan Sun Boulevard in Uncasville, Connecticut.

With his attention apparently veering towards bare-knuckle boxing, Guillermo Rigondeaux (22-3, 15 KO’s) seems to angling to put his longstanding professional boxing career to bed. With the BKFC having welcomed in former semi-retired boxers or MMA fighters before, Rigondeaux’s future as a boxer even more appears to be nearing its crescent.

The last fight Rigondeaux engaged in was on the undercard of a Don King-promoted event on June 9th, 2023, that saw former multi-division and unified champion Adrien Broner (35-4-1, 24 KO’s) make his return to the ring after more than two years of inactivity. Rigondeaux ended up winning his 122 lbs non-title bout against Puerto Rican opponent Charlie Clemente-Andino (12-2, 5 KO’s) through a technical knockout (TKO) victory in the seventh round.

Since then, Rigondeaux had been expected to retire following a lengthy career that has spanned since 2009, but the Cuban former world champion now appears to be acclimating himself to another combat sports; bare-knuckle boxing.

Though far from new, bare-knuckle boxing has struggled to gain the same recognition and approval as more established combat sports such as boxing and MMA, but BKFC has somehow managed to squeeze itself into a position where it has been somewhat recognizable after holding its first event in 2018, with former boxers such as Paulie Malignaggi helping contribute to the rise in the promotion’s popularity by participating in it.

Currently, the divisions of BKFC are nowhere close to as deep as can be observed in other combat sports, yet it has managed to consistently put up events; one on which Guillermo Rigondeaux will be competing on May 11th.

Despite the sport being rooted in boxing, there are several differences with the most glaring one pertaining to the lack of gloves being used in bare-knuckle boxing with only tape and gauze used as protection for each fighter’s bones and joints. Bare-knuckle boxing, at least in the BKFC, also appears to condone more holding and clinching in general.

Rigondeaux may find success in the bare-knuckle ring during his upcoming fight, but more prominently it appears as if his chapter in professional boxing has come to an abrupt close given his pedigree which will make him a shoe-in to become a Hall of Famer in the future. For now, fans of the Cuban fighter can still enjoy Rigondeaux as he prepares for new challenges, and mayhaps new impressive victories to notch another impressive accomplishment on a list of many he has had already.