Two-time Olympic gold medalist Guillermo Rigondeaux (2000, 2004) has escaped from Cuba and resurfaced in Miami. No details of his escape are available. The 27-year-old southpaw bantamweight will rejoin former Cuban Olympic teammates Yuriorkis Gamboa, Odlanier Solis and Erislandy Lara under the Arena Box-Promotion banner. Rigondeaux and Lara had previously tried to defect in 2007 in Brazil, but were returned to Cuba where they were not permitted to box. Lara later escaped successfully. Both Gamboa and Lara scored spectacular KOs in nationally televised bouts on Friday night.
Arena CEO Ahmet Öner has confirmed Rigondeaux’s defection and announced that Rigondeaux has signed with Arena Box-Promotion. “It’s true,” said Öner. “Our director of boxing operations in the USA, Luis DeCubas, has met Rigondeaux in Miami. Obviously, we are excited that this extraordinarily gifted athlete joins our team of Cuban world class boxers like Yuriorkis Gamboa, Erislandy Lara and Odlanier Solis. They will train together at our gym in Miami. We will announce everything else and answer questions on a press conference in Miami next week.”