Guillermo Rigondeaux Will Fight Drian Francisco as an Undercard of Cotto vs. Canelo

Guillermo Rigondeaux (15-0, 10 KOs), former WBA and WBO Super Bantamweight World Champion, will go against Filipino boxer Drian Francisco (28-1-3, 22 KOs) in a 10-round super bantamweight fight.

The announcement comes fresh after it was announced that Andre Ward had withdrawn as part of an undercard due to a knee injury.

“We are thrilled to add Guillermo Rigondeaux, one of boxing’s best pound for pound fighters, to what we believe is the biggest night in boxing this year,” said David Itskowitch, COO Boxing of Roc Nation Sports. “On Nov. 21, fans at the Mandalay Bay Events Center and those watching at home on HBO Pay-Per-View are in store for an event that will bring them even more bang for their buck with the addition of Rigondeaux vs. Drian Francisco. It’s a rare treat when three of boxing’s top ten pound for pound best fighters appear on the same telecast.”

Rigondeaux is looking forward to the exposure that would bring to his already stellar career.

“I’d like to thank Roc Nation Sports, as well as Golden Boy Promotions, Miguel Cotto Promotions, Canelo Promotions, HBO, and Caribe Promotions for giving me the opportunity to be on one of the most anticipated Pay-Per-View cards of the year,” said Rigondeaux. “This is a great platform to take my career to the next level, and to showcase my talents on the big stage. While I’ve been sidelined for the past year, I am grateful for the opportunity to deliver a show to all the boxing fans that have supported me throughout this journey, and I look forward to delivering my best come fight night.”

Not surprisngly, Drian Francisco is just as excited.

“I’m elated to be able to fight in Las Vegas once more and against a great champion like Rigo,” said Francisco. “I want to make a statement and steal the show. I was prepared to fight this month and when the call came, I didn’t think twice about it. This is a great night to be part of on Nov. 21.”

Not only is Rigondeaux a two-time Olympic gold medalist (which he won in both 2000 and 2004), but he is also widely considered one of the greatest amateur boxers of all time, being a seven-time Cuban National Champion. He ended his amateur career with 475 fights, losing only 12 of those fights. After Rigondeaux’s defection in 2009, he officially went pro, having his first professional fight on May 22, 2009 against Juan Noriega in Miami, FL. Rigondeaux had won with a third round TKO. Rigondeaux, with his eyes set on the vacant WBA Interim Super Bantamweight, had challenged Ricardo Cordoba for the title. On November 13, 2010, Rigondeaux walked away with the title after a split decision. Rigondeaux victoriously defended his title four times, three of the wins being KOs. On April 3, 2013, Rigondeaux faced Nonito Donaire, Jr., the WBO and Ring Magazine World Champion in Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY. Rigondeaux became a unified Bantamweight champion after a UD win against Donaire. Rigondeaux’s last fight was back on December 31, 2014, in Japan. Rigondeaux faced Tokyo’s Hisashi Amagasa. Rigondeaux was knocked down in the seventh round, but answered back by knocking down Amagasa in the ninth round, before finally taking the win with an eleventh round TKO victory.

Drian Francisco hails from the Philippines, being born in the province of Mindoro. Francisco, known for his aggressive style and powerful punches, was born into boxing. His father, Joe, was a former professional boxer. Francisco had his first professional fight on April 29, 2005, against Jessie Caballes. Francisco won with a second-round TKO. Francisco won the WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight Title in a seventh-round TKO, back in December 30, 2006, against Pichitchok Singmanassak. Francisco went on to defend his title against Wanmeechok Singwancha on August 4, 2007. Francisco added another title to his name, winning the vacant WBA International Super Flyweight title on Oct. 3, 2009 against Roberto Vasquez with a tenth-round TKO. Francisco went against Duangpetch Kokietgym in Thailand for the WBA Interim Super Flyweight World Championship on November 30, 2010. Francisco won with a tenth-round KO. Since then, Francisco has won 11 fights. His last fight was on September 6, 2015 in General Santos City in the Philippines. He won the fight with a first round KO against Jilo Merlin.

Cotto vs. Canelo will take place on November 21, 2015 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, NV.

Ivy Habaradas
Ivy Habaradas
Owner and founder of Hooked on Boxing. Boxinghead. Nerd. eSports. Aerialist. Forever a USC Trojan.

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