Guillermo Rigondeaux never has quite received the credit a man of his skills deserve. The little Cuban has outlandish skills to rival a man who does receive the plaudits and like Rigondeaux was a double Olympic gold winner, Vasyl Lomachenko. Who really knows why this is the case, it could be promoter and managerial issues, it could be a quiet persona or a style many don’t see as entertaining but regardless, Rigondeaux is one of the most technically skilled and gifted fighters we have seen in recent times.
Rigondeaux is a very versatile fighter, he prefers to counter punch and possesses knockout power which means the pace of his fights can be very slow as opponents worry getting counter punched and hit by his power. An extremely astute defensive fighter he is very hard to hit and he also has excellent footwork. One of the skills he excels in is using his lead hand, as a southpaw he does need to use this a little differently but as the video below shows, he has mastered using the lead hand.
One of the things Guillermo Rigondeaux does very well is to find and set his range using the lead hand, Rigo, as he is often called will use the pawing jab or touch jab to find his range and keep his opponents lead hand busy whilst he goes about setting up his next shot, which is usually his power shot the left cross. What he also does excellently using these same tactics is to slow down the fight by touching with the jab, almost tricking the opponent into a false sense of security – he then capitalises on this by suddenly exploding with a fast combo, all of a sudden changing the tempo of the fight from slow to fast. This is a rare skill great fighters possess, the ability to switch an opponent off before suddenly upping the tempo and almost taking the opposition by surprise.
Rigo also likes to feint using the jab, constantly touching, pawing and feinting with the jab occupies the opponent and Rigo then likes to explode with the power shot after feinting with the jab. It’s not just the attack Rigondeaux will use from the jab feint, he will also use the lead arm to block incoming shots using the forearm block, a vertical block with the forearm which is great for blocking the opponents straight shots.
As a counter puncher it is also crucial Rigondeaux has a few tricks up his sleeve should he not land on the target with his lead hand. One of the tactics Rigo uses is that if he misses with the jab, he will keep the extended hand out, almost like a stiff arm except he will use his lead hand to guide his opponent away into a position they cannot punch from, this also acts as a preventative measure so the opponent cannot counter punch because Rigondeaux has kept the lead hand out, getting in the way of any incoming punch.
Adding to his extensive use of the jab and the jab feint, Rigondeaux will also factor in the lead hook. This is a great weapon when it comes to countering the orthodox jab, you can either time it and throw your hook as the opponent is throwing their jab at you or you can throw the lead hook over the orthodox jab as they are retracting their hand, if the opponent does not bring the hand back in or brings it in low, Rigo’s lead hook will land. Just for good measure, Rigondeaux will also circle with the lead hook ensuring you cannot counter him after he has thrown the hook. Check out the video below to see all of this in action from Guillermo Rigondeaux, the lead hand master.