Decorated Cuban boxing great Guillermo Rigondeaux was expected to have an easy bounce back fight since losing on the cards to Filipino WBO bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero in his last outing, but Vincent Astrolabio of the Philippines wasn’t going to be a tune-up and pulled off the shocking upset on Saturday night in Dubai.
The boxing event was promoted by People’s Fighters and Mundo Boxing and took place on Saturday, February 26 at temporary arena built at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, UAE.
Rigondeaux, 41, is known as one of the greatest amateur boxers of all time, and with two Olympic Gold Medals, he is also one of Cuba’s greatest fighters.
The former two-division champion was known for his defense and slick southpaw style where he would make opponents usually much bigger than him miss and he would counter with sharp, accurate punches.
Tonight the former champion played defense but his reflexes were no longer the same as he couldn’t avoid punches when in close range like he used. Rigondeaux kept circling on the outside hoping to catch the aggressive Filipino coming in.
The young 24-year-old Filipino challenger applied constant pressure to the Cuban and made it difficult for the Cuban to really land sharp counters and when he did he took them fairly well.
The defining moment came in round 8, when Astrolabio was able to time Rigondeaux as he ducked his head down and threw an upper cut that landed and dropped the Cuban boxer on the seat of his trunks.
It was a very competitive fight, and from the commentators you would think Rigondeaux even after the knockdown pitched a shut out, but Astrolabio was in the fight and giving and taken it was no one sided affair.
Rigondeaux was able to recover and was able to land some good exchanges off the back foot in rounds 9 and 10.
Astrolabio won the 10-round bantamweight fight by one point 95-94 on all three judges scorecards for a unanimous decision, if not for the knockdown it would have been a draw.