Former unified junior featherweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux's fight against James "Jazza" Dickens, scheduled for Saturday at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, is in jeopardy because Rigondeaux has not yet been able to obtain a visa, promoter Frank Warren said on Tuesday.
Rigondeaux, a two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist who defected and lives in Miami, traveled to Russia to train for the fight with Dickens. Rigondeaux remains in Russia unable to obtain a visa.
Warren, who is promoting the card headlined by lightweight world titleholder Terry Flanagan's defense against Derry Mathews, said that he is working with Dino Duva of Roc Nation Sports, Rigondeaux's co-promoter, to get Rigondeaux's visa squared away.
Warren said he and Duva have been "in constant contact" as they work to get the visa.
Warren released an email from Duva outlining the situation.
"As a fellow promoter, I know and respect that this is frustrating for you , and I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may be causing your March 12 event promotion," Duva wrote to Warren. "Rigondeaux went to Russia to train for the Dickens fight, and has been attempting to get his UK visa expedited there as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, they have encountered obstacles the past week or so due to a Russian Holiday that prevented the process from getting done.
"Rigondeaux and his training team were at the embassy in Moscow again [Monday] trying to work on it, but unfortunately were unsuccessful. Please be assured that we will continue to work on this matter with all our efforts, and are hopeful that we can get this taken care of in time to get to Liverpool for the event. I will contact you on Tuesday to keep you updated on the status."
Rigondeaux (16-0, 10 KOs), a 35-year-old southpaw, was stripped of his two 122-pound world titles late last year due to inactivity. Unwanted by American television networks because of his extremely technical style, Rigondeaux was headed to England to fight the 24-year-old Dickens (21-1, 6 KOs) while also attempting to drum up interest in an eventual bout between him and titleholder Carl Frampton, who outpointed Scott Quigg to unify belts on Feb. 27.