Rigondeaux mans up, to fight Donaire
MANILA, Philippines --- The Filipino Flash has had trouble finding big name opponents to step in the ring with, that’s certainly nothing new.
With that sledgehammer of a left hook he has, Nonito Donaire carved a path of destruction through the 122 lb. weight division, amassing 4 impressive victories over tough opponents whilst nabbing “Fighter of the Year” accolades from nearly every sporting news organization.
In the wake of his complete annihilation of Jorge “El Travieso” Arce just last December, two names came up as to who Donaire would face next, Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux. Both fighters have expressed intent to face Donaire to determine the top dog at Bantamweight.
As has been the case his entire career however, potential Donaire opponents continue to ‘talk the talk’ while failing to ‘walk the walk’. At first it was Mares who, working with Top Rank rival promoter Golden Boy, had contractual disagreements in negotiating a fight with the Pinoy superstar – and as such, a compromise could not be made.
So Top Rank opted to stage ‘Plan B’ and looked to Rigondeaux but the Cuban amateur standout, threw a monkey wrench into negotiations by forcing Bob Arum to settle an on-going legal dispute with Miami-based Caribe Promotions before the Donaire fight would take place.
Donaire has been willing to fight anyone within 2 weight classes of himself. At this stage in his career, it’s understandable that he only wants the big fights. He’s put pressure on his promoter to deliver the big money fights and so far, Top Rank has delivered Fernando Montiel, Toshiaki Nishioka and Jorge Arce.
Donaire wrecked all three of them, so it’s understandable why some fighters are hesitant to step into the ring with the Filipino standout.
Rigondeaux signs contract, Donaire awaits
In a report by RingTV.com, both Top Rank chief Bob Arum and Pat English, a lawyer of Rigondeaux’s manager Gary Hyde, confirmed that the amateur Cuban boxing stalwart signed the contract to face Donaire “within the hour”.
Details of the bout have yet to be hammered out but New York City seems to be the place, and April 13th the date.
“While it’s going to be Rigondeaux, it makes no difference and doesn’t matter who it is. He’ll probably run since there is nothing else he can do. He can’t fight coming forward” Donaire told the Manila Standard.
“Just tell Nonito to prepare for what’s coming” was Rigondeaux’s only reply.
The bout has been highly anticipated for over a year now and both fighters seemed to be on a collision course.
Some say Rigondeaux has not earned a shot at Donaire given his very meager 11-0 record with 8 knockouts, but a lot of experts feel Rigondeaux is just as skillful and just as powerful as Donaire and that the fight is dead even.
In some circles, Rigondeaux is actually considered equal to Donaire, if not better.
Donaire has yet to iron out his end of the deal but it should just be a matter of time.
“Everything is in the process of happening,” said Arum. “When it happens (Donaire signing), it will happen and then we’ll announce the signing and the site.”
The fight would seek to unify the Super Bantamweight titles with Donaire holding the WBO version of it while Rigondeaux wields its WBA counterpart.
Rigondeaux is known to be a highly technical fighter, possibly as much as Donaire, so it could be a tactical matchup. Hardcore fans of the sweet science are poised to enjoy this one, but it might not be a war like many are to expect.
Both fighters are thinking fighters so it will definitely be a display of skill.
There’s also bad blood between the two as both have trash-talked and jabbed at each other through the media. This fight aims to finally settle the score. - Rappler.com