John Riel Casimero won a split decision against an elusive Guillermo Rigondeaux to retain his WBO bantamweight title on Sunday (Manila time) at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, after chasing and stalking him throughout the bout.
Two judges scored the fight 116-112 and 117-111 for Rigondeaux, while the third judge scored it 115-113 for Rigondeaux.
“What he (Casimero) is saying is he’s very frustrated. It’s embarrassing. The man came in the best shape he can to give the fans what they want. And that was embarrassing. They should hold up that man’s purse. That was one of the worst displays of a fight I have ever seen,” said MP Promotions president Sean Gibbons in an interview with Showtime’s Jim Gray shortly after the fight.
“My expectation is knockout. I want a knockout. I tried to do my best to knock him out but Rigondeaux was always running and running. I’m focused on [the] knockout but Rigondeaux was always running and no fighting,” Casimero said.
Casimero anticipated he would knock out Rigondeaux in three rounds going into the bout, but the Cuban, who is known for his technical and meticulous style of fighting, kept running as the audience booed him.
Rigondeaux, a three-division champion and two-time Olympic gold winner, suffered only his second loss against 20 wins, 13 by knockout.