By Ryan Maquiñana
Junior featherweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux’s decision last weekend to remain with promoter Top Rank was partially motivated by the company's ability to make a bout with 122-pound king Nonito Donaire, according to the fighter’s manager, Gary Hyde.
“I am very happy with Top Rank's new deal for Rigondeaux and the promise of a fight against Donaire in the next three fights was definitely a major factor in signing with Top Rank,” the Ireland-based Hyde told BoxingScene.com via email. “He is looking to get in the ring with Donaire and [Abner] Mares as soon as they are willing to fight him.”
In the last fight of his original contract with Top Rank, the 32-year-old Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs) defeated Roberto Marroquin last month by unanimous decision. By not renewing his deal, the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba became a promotional free agent.
However, after entertaining an offer from rival Golden Boy, Rigondeaux re-signed a three-fight, 18-month extension with Top Rank and will now continue his pursuit of Donaire, who vanquished Toshiaki Nishioka last Saturday via ninth-round stoppage.
“I want it. Does [Donaire] want the fight with me? Ask him,” Rigondeaux told this writer last month. I obliged him and asked Donaire what he thought of a matchup with the Cuban star.
“Nishioka is the best, which is why it was my goal to fight him, but I’ve always been willing to fight Rigondeaux and [Abner] Mares,” Donaire said. “If their names are on that contract, I’ll fight them. I want the best out there, and if the people want it, let’s do it.”
Ryan Maquiñana was the boxing producer for NBCOlympics.com during London 2012 and writes a weekly column for CSNBayArea.com. He is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the Ratings Panel for Ring Magazine. E-mail him at [email protected], check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.