Looks like Nonito Donaire Jr. will be fighting unbeaten Cuban champion Guillermo Rigondeaux after all.
After negotiations with Abner Mares fell through, several internet reports Saturday said the Filipino WBO super bantamweight titlist and consensus 2012 Fighter of the Year will battle Rigondeaux on April 13 in New York City.
Citing its sources, espn.com said the fight will be held possibly at Radio City Music Hall, although it didn’t count out the possibility of California or even Texas as alternative site.
It was earlier reported the unification bout would be staged at Madison Square Garden, where Donaire wrested the WBO bantam crown over a defense-minded Omar Narvaez of Argentina in October 2011.
Website Bad Left Hook, quoting writer Gabriel Montoya of maxboxing.com, said the fight has been “signed sealed and delivered” with both Rigondeaux (11-0-0 with 8 knockouts) agreeing to undergo Voluntary Anti Doping Association tests (Vada).
Donaire is the first and only professional boxer who agreed to subject himself to Vada testing 24/7.
It also said the 32-year-old Cuban, a double gold Olympic champ, is assured of $750,000 for the fight, an unprecedented paycheck for somebody who has yet to prove he is bankable despite a checkered career in the amateurs.
Rigondeaux’s promoter, Caribe Promotions tweeted a picture of the WBA champion signing some papers with a caption in Spanish supposedly regarding the April 13 fight against Donaire.
Donaire, 31-1-0 with 20 knockouts, has earlier stressed that he wants an April fight and then rest for three months just in time for the birth of his firstborn with wife Rachel.
He has expressed desire to face undefeated WBC Mexican champ Abner Mares, but negotiations bogged down due to conflict with their promotional outfits.
Top Rank, which has yet to make a formal announcement, reportedly agreed to co-promote the fight with Caribe Promotions. Rigondeaux had earlier threatened not to sign the contract unless Top Rank settles its legal dispute with Caribe.