Former champ Guillermo Rigondeaux burns corneas in pressure cooker explosion

·2 min read
ALLENTOWN, PA - FEBRUARY 08: Guillermo Rigondeaux looks on at the PPL Center on February 8, 2020 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Guillermo Rigondeaux was discharged from the hospital on Friday. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The career of a former champion and amateur boxing legend is in limbo after a horrific cooking accident, according to ESPN's Mike Coppinger.

Guillermo Rigondeaux reportedly lost approximately 80 percent of his vision when his pressure cooker exploded while he was cooking Cuban black beans at his home in Miami on Thursday. Rigondeaux's manager, Alex Boronte, told ESPN that boiling water splashed into his eyes, severely burning his corneas.

Rigondeaux's chest was also reportedly burned. The 41-year-old Cuban has since had his eyes injected with anesthesia and bandaged before being released from Kendall Regional Medical Center on Friday afternoon.

Perhaps most disturbing is it sounds like nothing out of the ordinary was happening until the explosion, per ESPN:

"He's only done it a million times," Boronte said of one of Rigondeaux's favorite meals to cook. "They make bombs out of [pressure cookers]. If one of those beans clogs up where the steam is going to go out, it's like a bomb. It could have killed him."

The good news is that Rigondeaux has reportedly already recovered enough to be able to see sunlight and shadows, but Boronte said his recovery over next 10 days will "define his fighting career." Corneas tend to begin regenerating in 48 to 72 hours, per ESPN.

Guillermo Rigondeaux is a legend in Cuba

However he recovers, the domestic injury is horrific news for a historic boxing talent. Rigondeaux was a legend as an amateur in Cuba, racking up two Olympic gold medals, two world championships, three world cups and seven Cuban championships as a bantamweight with an overall record of 374-12.

After he defected in 2009, Rigondeaux turned pro. He captured the WBA, WBO and lineal super bantamweight titles over the next few years, and wouldn't lose until facing fellow amateur legend Vasiliy Lomachenko in 2017.

Rigondeaux currently holds a 20-3-1 professional record after dropping his last two fights. We'll have to wait to find out if he can resume his career.