Donaire-Rigondeaux April 13 showdown in jeopardy
Cuban titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux is in no hurry to sign up as the next opponent of Filipino boxing star Nonito Donaire Jr. after negotiations for a fight with Mexican champ Abner Mares fell through.
Internet reports said the 32-year-old WBA super featherweight champion balked at signing the contract to fight Donaire, the current WBO titlist, on April 13 in New York City.
Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic champion with an unblemished 11-0 record with eight knockouts, said Top Rank has to settle first its ongoing legal tussle against his promotional outfit Caribe Promotions.
“I’ve made it clear to Top Rank that I want the legal problem between Caribe and Top Rank to be resolved before the fight,” Rick Reeno of boxingscene.com quoted the Cuban as saying. The Cuban is reportedly getting a career-high $750,000 to fight Donaire.
But Top Rank’s Bob Arum refused to be arm-twisted and even threatened to replace him with Vic Darchinyan (38-5-1 with 27 KOs), the 32-year-old slugger whom Donaire (31-1-0 with 20 KOs) flattened in the fifth round which ended up as the Knockout of the Year in 2007.
“It’s craziness,” Arum was quoted as saying. “If he doesn’t straighten out, we’ll go to Darchinyan. (Caribe) is trying to use the kid to muscle on us to settle a lawsuit that we feel has no value.
“We offered him the fight. We’ve offered him a lot of money for the fight. If he doesn’t take it, we’ll move to the next guy. He has to understand that he is very much the B-side.”
In preparation for the fight against Donaire, Rigondeaux is also reportedly replacing his trainer Jorge Rubio in favor of former coach Pedro Diaz, who also hones the skills of Miguel Cotto and Odlanier Solis.
Donaire has earlier said he wanted Mares (25-0-0 with 13 KOs) to be his first fight for the year, but it didn’t prosper despite heated negotiations done largely on social networking site Twitter. Rigondeaux then renewed his call for Donaire to fight him although the Filipino felt he wasn’t much of a crowd draw.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.