Former world super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 KOs) will fight British champion James “Jazza” Dickens (21-1, 6 KOs) on the undercard of WBO lightweight champion Terry Flanagan’s defence against Derry Mathews on March 12 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Cuban Rigondeaux, who was stripped of his WBA and WBO world titles late last year due to inactivity, will make his British debut in a scheduled 10-round super bantamweight bout in Dickens’ hometown.
“I really look forward to fighting this young up-and-comer in Dickens,” said Rigondeaux. “I hear he’s very good, but I’m going to have to disappoint his hometown fans and teach him a lesson in boxing. I hope the British audience appreciates my skills when I’m done with James.
“I’m looking forward to making my British debut at a time where there is great boxing in Europe, especially in my division. I’m excited to come out and give my best and deliver a world-class performance to the fans.”
Rigondeaux would like to face either of unbeaten British super bantamweights Carl Frampton, the IBF champion, and Scott Quigg, the WBA champion, who will meet to unify their belts on February 27 in Manchester.
“Frampton and Quigg are both cowards for finding ways to avoid the best in their division,” said Rigondeaux. “We wait in anticipation to see if the winner of a great fight between them would step up and step in the ring with me, so the whole world can see who the best 122-pound fighter is. Fans should come see the real super world champion in Liverpool, as I’ll be ready to put on a show and be in a position to happily knock out the winner, if either would even fathom the idea of stepping in the same ring with me.”
Dickens has won five fights in a row since suffering his only defeat when he was stopped in the 10th round by Kid Galahad in September 2013, but he will be taking a massive step up in competition.
“It is like a Rocky story,” said Dickens. “One day I’m just training waiting for my next fight and then I get the call. Do I want to fight Guillermo Rigondeaux? Are you mad? One of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world wants to fight me? I’ll definitely have some of that. Opportunities like this don’t come around every day, so I’ve grabbed it with both hands.
“It’s been my childhood dream to be the best in the world and this, to me, is a golden opportunity to become the best by beating Rigondeaux. He might not have the belts, but he’s still the world champion in my eyes. Frampton and Quigg both didn’t want to know him, but what they see as a threat, I see as an opportunity. We’ve all got weaknesses and Rigondeaux will have his. It’s my job to go out an exploit them and beat him.”