by David P. Greisman
Though the fight between 122-pound titleholders Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux has been announced for April 13 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the bout is potentially approaching a hurdle over the issue of drug testing.
“I am NOT going to NYC for the presser this Thursday [because] Rigo is backing off his agreement to VADA drug testing,” wrote Donaire on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. “Rigo's team verbally agreed to VADA testing both online and in negotiations. But now that the contract to start testing is in front of them, they are finding every excuse not to sign and delay the start of the testing. I have NOT signed my fight contract yet to fight him so I have no obligation to fight ONLY HIM.
“It disappoints me that top fighters these days run from everything that will hold professional boxing integrity to its highest standard,” Donaire wrote. “I will be looking into other opponents with my manager, Cameron Dunkin, immediately.”
Donaire is the only boxer subject to year-round unannounced drug testing, which came about as a result of Donaire’s willingness and due to the cost of that testing being covered by donations to the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association.
Though Donaire has since fought other opponents who have not been subject to additional testing beyond what the athletic commissions do, he apparently is seeking to have Rigondeaux go through better testing, like him, that looks for more banned substances — and is done more often — in the weeks before their bout.
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]