Guillermo Rigondeaux was hospitalized on Friday night, after he sustained injuries to his face and eyes that could jeopardize his decorated boxing career.
According to a report from the El Nuevo Herald, the former two-division world champion was in the middle of cooking a meal at home when a pressure cooker exploded on his face. Rigondeaux sustained facial injuries, but more concerning was the damage on his eyes that reportedly left him with just 20% of his vision.
“It’s really unfortunate,” Rigondeaux’s manager Alex Bornote said in the Spanish report. “When the (pressure cooker) exploded and we saw how Rigandoaux had turned out, we thought the worst, because the face and eyes looked very bad as a result of the impact of the explosion. But we hope he recovers.”
Various eye injuries — even those mild enough not to completely affect people’s daily lives — have sidelined numerous careers in both boxing and MMA. Bornote notes though that they’re having “several tests” done, and hoping he won’t need surgery and that it’s just a retina injury that can heal over time.
“In any case, this is a hard blow for Rigondeaux, because we were already working on an upcoming fight,” Bornote added. “The important thing now is that he fully recovers his vision and we will make a determination about his future later.”
Rigondeaux, now 41, has had a decorated career both as an amateur with two Olympic gold medalists, and as a professional where he was among the top pound-for-pound fighters during his prime. He’s a former two-division champion and held the super bantamweight belt from 2010-2017.
He fought less than a week before the accident, losing to Filipino fighter Vincent Astrolabio in a close upset decision that saw Rigondeaux dropped for the first time in several years.