Memo Heredia has all of the respect in the world for Guillermo Rigondeaux, but the well-known strength and conditioning coach is preparing IBF bantamweight champion John Riel Casimero for the fight of his life - which takes place on August 14th in a Showtime televised main event.
Heredia is very familiar with Rigondeaux and is no stranger to working with Cuban boxers like Yordenis Ugas and Rancés Barthelemy.
Casimero was scheduled to face Rigondeaux, but then it was switched to a fight with WBC champion Nonito Donaire. The fight with Donaire fell through and now Rigondeaux is back in the picture.
"At first we were working first against Rigonadeaux before Nonito came into the picture, but then that fight falls through and now Rigondeaux comes back again. We had to make some adjustments, but Casimero will come in there with a good physical platform, because we know Rigo is a great boxer, technical and intelligent," Heredia told George Ebro.
"Physically there is no change at all [with the opponent switching]. Either way I expect [Casimero] to have resistance, strength, explosiveness. On the subject of boxing aspect, you would have to ask him and Jorge Capetillo, his trainer. Casimero feels calm. This is not a change that will affect him. He told me that 'we are back against Rigo and his belt.'
"I see an intelligent fight. Casimero is a little bit stronger, bigger, but Rigondeaux is a very smart boxer. For me, he is one of the best technicians in boxing. He's criticized because he moves around a lot in the ring, but it's the Cuban style of hitting and not being hit. Rigo is going to come out boxing and Casimero will be punching with both hands, but he's also smart. We'll try to limit Rigo's movements.
"Many believe [Rigondeaux's age] is a negative. I remember working with Juan Manuel Márquez until he was 41-years-old. A well-cared-for athlete, who has not received punishment, can last for a long time. Rigondeaux has been in boxing since childhood and he's carried a very strong load. The Cuban boxing program is very complete. I know Rigo trains daily, I think always active.''