By Ronnie Nathanielsz
There is a possibility that undefeated WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (11-0. 8 KO’s) may be replaced by Vic Darchinyan in the title fight against WBO/Ring Magazine and WBC Diamond Belt champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (31-1, 20 KO’s) in Donaire's fourth title defense possibly at New York’s Madison Square Garden on April 13.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that there is “a real problem. Its stupid” referring to Rigondeaux’s demand that Top Rank settle a pending legal dispute with Miami-based Caribe Promotions before he signs the contract to fight Donaire.
Arum told us “they were out, now there in and suing and they are trying to hit me for more money which I’m not going to give them and if Rigondeaux is not going to sign the contract we’ll go with Darchinyan.”
The Top Rank promoter thinks a Donaire-Darchinyan rematch “may be a better fight and Cameron Dunkin (Donaire’s manager) likes that fight for Donaire, and Darchinyan is not asking for as much money as Rigondeaux so it will make HBO happy because we can give them a little refund.”
Rigondeaux began the week by getting rid of his trainer Jorge Rubio and according to Rick Reeno of boxingscene.com retained the services of Cuban coach Pedro Diaz who also trains Miguel Cotto, Olympic gold medalist Odlanier Solis and several other fighters.
Reeno reported that Rigondeaux’s move to change trainers has been frowned upon by his manager Gary Hyde.
IBF official and boxing writer Ray Wheatley reports that he has spoken to Darchinyan who was quopted as saying “I deserve the chance to fight Donaire before a glass-jawed bum like Rigondeaux. Who is Rigondeaux to be in the same ring with Nonito? He’s done nothing. He fights bums and his jaw is like an egg shell”
The cocky Darchinyan who was knocked out and lost his IBF/IBO flyweight titles to Donaire on July 7, 2007 after predicting he would knock Donaire out, makes the same boast again even as he adds, “I’m a warrior. I’ve never taken a backward step against anyone. I gave Nonito a chance when no one wanted to fight me. Now I want the chance to fight him. I’m not going to run for twelve rounds. If Nonito fights Rigondeaux he better buy some roller skates because he will be chasing him around the ring like a chicken.”
Nicknamed “The Raging Bull” with a record of 38-5-2 with 27 knockouts, Darchinyan scored a big win over Puerto Rico’s Luis Orlando Del Valle last September 29 to win the North American Boxing Federation super bantamweight title by a wide margin over ten rounds.
Born in Armenia, Darchinyan who became an Australian citizen and now fights out of Glendale, California is a former IBF/IBO flyweight champion, WBC/WBA/IBF super flyweight champion and an IBO bantamweight champion.