Rigondeaux on facing Donaire, Inoue: Let’s see if they want to fight me

Guillermo Rigondeaux celebrates after defeating Julio Ceja in a super bantamweight fight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on June 23, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Steve Marcus/Getty Images/AFP

MANILA, Philippines — Not only is Guillermo Rigondeaux raring to get back in the ring, he’s also itching for a fight against the big names in the bantamweight division.

The 118-pound class is home to the likes of five-division world champion Nonito Donaire Jr. and current WBA (Super) and IBF champion Naoya Inoue—both of whom are considered to be among Rigondeaux’s potential opponents in the future.

“Let’s see if they want to fight me. In the end it’s all about that… it’s not what I want, it’s if they want to fight me. I don’t know why it’s so complicated to do the fights that everyone wants to see sometimes,” Rigondeaux said in a story on boxingscene.com.

The 39-year-old Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KOs) had already beaten Donaire back in 2013 by unanimous decision in the super bantamweight division.

Inoue also won over Donaire by unanimous decision last November.

Boxing has just resumed last week after being shut down for the past several months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But despite the situation, Rigondeaux said he remains “a hundred percent ready for whatever comes.”

“You can see it now. Look at these [younger] guys, the day I don’t come [to train], they miss me. I’m the one who pushes them. I always train to support myself, because this is a very hard sport. So I go to the extreme in my workouts,” Cuba’s two-time Olympic gold medalist said.

“I’ve already been warned [that I might return by] the end of August, August 8th or 21st. Already Luis De Cubas, my manager, warned me. He asked me if I was ready. I replied

Read More

AFL: Gold Coast rising star Matty Rowell is already showing flashes of magic

When Matty Rowell arrived at the Metricon Stadium in early December, his Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew knew he had a special player blessed with talent. Now the rest of the AFL is well aware after just two games.

The No1 draft pick was viewed by many last season as the most dominant junior footballer ever seen. However, few would have expected the Victorian to be the best on the ground in just his second professional match against an experienced West Coast midfield last weekend.

Rowell was exceptional as the Suns broke a 19-match losing streak with a shock 44-point win over the Eagles last Saturday. The 18-year-old showed maturity beyond his years to kick two goals from 26 disposals, 14 contested possessions, seven tackles and five clearances to inspire Gold Coast to victory.

It was a sparkling performance that drew praise from 2018 Brownlow medalist Tom Mitchell and Geelong captain Joel Selwood, a player Rowell idolised growing up.

“Going to enjoy watching Rowell for the next 15 years,” Selwood tweeted after the Suns’ win. Big praise indeed considering Selwood, a three-time Premiership winner, has enjoyed a stellar 13-year career to date.

Standing at 5ft 9 in and 75kg, Rowell may not cut a towering or bustling figure, but he looms as a long-term star in Queensland. And while the Suns have battled to retain their youngsters in the past, the Melbourne native is hoping to pen a new deal soon.

Normally when 18-year-olds come into the AFL, it takes time for them to build their bodies, adapt to the conditioning, the physicality and gain confidence around more experienced players.

For Rowell, he arrived with it all in place and has hit the ground running.

When a player comes into the game with Rowell’s talent, it is easy for fans

Read More

Premier League chief urges fans to ‘stay away’

FILE – In this Sunday, May 6, 2018 file photo, the English Premier League trophy is displayed on the pitch prior to the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Huddersfield Town at Etihad stadium in Manchester, England. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, File)

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has warned fans to stay away from stadiums once the top-flight returns behind closed doors on Wednesday.

The Premier League resumes after a three-month hiatus with Aston Villa’s home game against Sheffield United and Arsenal’s trip to Manchester City.

A full program of matches follows over the weekend, including Liverpool’s potential title-clincher at Merseyside rivals Everton.

There are fears some supporters will ignore social-distancing rules by congregating outside the grounds where their teams are playing.

But after talks between the league’s key stakeholders and police, it was agreed not to move any of the remaining 92 matches to neutral venues at present.

Aware of the scrutiny the league will be under, Masters has issued a plea to fans not to gather around stadiums during matches.

“Please stay away and enjoy the matches at home. By turning up to the game you are putting things at jeopardy,” Masters told the BBC on Tuesday.

There will be no fans allowed into any Premier League games this term, but Masters is optimistic there could be some eventually given entry next season.

“We’re hopeful fans will come back on a phased opportunity. Discussions have started, but it is not appropriate for me to put a timescale on it,” he said.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.

What you need to know about Coronavirus.

For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer

Read More