By Ben Jacobs
Gary Hyde is a busy man these days with an ever expanding stable of fighters under his management.
As was reported earlier today on BoxingScene, Hyde has signed up talented middleweight Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam who will make his debut in Barcelona on December 14.
The Irishman recently had a good weekend in the Catalan capital, seeing two of his men in Mark Heffron and Iain Weaver claim victories. Weaver is still hoping he will receive clearance from the British Boxing Board of Control to fight in Great Britain after they found a cyst on his brain during a medical.
However Hyde’s most high profile client is the current best at super bantamweight, Guillermo Rigondeaux.
‘Rigo’ will be defending his WBO and WBA ‘super’ titles on December 7 against Ghana’s experienced former IBF bantamweight champion, Joseph Agbeko, who currently holds the IBO's version of the belt.
There has been some discontent from the Rigondeaux camp following the Cuban’s last bout against Nonito Donaire, in terms of the treatment they have received from HBO and even their own promoter, Top Rank.
“HBO and Top Rank, both of them together, they lined up Rigondeaux to get beat by Donaire, and just because Rigondeaux gave a master class and beat him, that didn’t fit into their plans,” explained Hyde.
“Because of that they demonise Rigondeaux, and that’s not fair.
“I’m not over the moon but we have a contract which ends in two more fights. He should have been fighting in November, but now he’s fighting in December.
“Donaire fought on November 9, where’s the justice in that?
“Rigondeaux beats the pound for pound great in his 12th fight, and he put on an exhibition of boxing. 30 odd people tried to beat Donaire and 30 odd people couldn’t do it.
“You know boxing is so small, if you want to be in with the best people you’re either with Top Rank or Golden Boy, HBO or Showtime, so you don’t want to burn any bridges, you just have to move on and perform.
“We’ve got Agbeko next. There are no easy fights but he will suit Rigondeaux. He comes to fight, he’s not going to run away from Rigondeaux until he feels his power.”
One of the criticisms from some in the sport towards the Miami-based star has been a perceived failure to entertain in the ring. Some even consider him to be the Floyd Mayweather of the super bantamweight division albeit without the razzmatazz outside the squared circle. Nevertheless, Hyde sees a more attack minded Rigondeaux against Agbeko.
“I see Rigondeaux being more aggressive this time. Donaire said that in round eight, when he went into the ropes, he could have gone down but he held on. He said Rigondeaux was the hardest puncher he’s ever faced. Robert Marroquin said to Donaire before the fight,‘Wait until you feel this guy’s power.’
“People underestimate Rigondeaux’s power because he’s so slick, they think he’s just a boxer. Fair play to Donaire, he has a great chin. He wanted to get out of that ring in the 12th round. How can a guy who is pound for pound top five run away and hold his eye like that? Would you think Manny Pacquiao would do that?”
Following his victory over Vic Darchinyan last weekend, Donaire stated to HBO’s Max Kellerman in the ring that he’d like a return bout with the Cuban.
“We’d like that, the second time Rigondeaux would knock him out,” assured Hyde.
“We want the fight. No matter how many times he fights Rigondeaux he can’t beat him. No chance.”
If a Donaire rematch does not materialise, does Hyde see the possibility of a clash with current WBA regular champion, Scott Quigg? Or even Carl Frampton, who is thought to be on the verge of a world title shot himself.
“I think Scott Quigg is much better than what he showed last time out. I thought he was too careful. With some of the Cubans, not Rigondeaux, if you just box with them, they can do 36 rounds but if you put the pressure on them from the start, you can get them out of there. Once he [Quigg] did put the pressure on, he [Salinas] was complaining and moaning. I thought Scott won the fight.
“If Frampton wants to wait two or three more years he might think that time could slow down Rigondeaux. I think even if his speed and reflexes slow down he’ll still be the best super bantamweight in the world.
“I can’t split Frampton and Quigg, I want to see them fight. It would be fantastic, not just domestically.”