By Rick Reeno
Gary Hyde, the manager of WBA/WBO super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (12-0, 8KOs), is in full celebration mode. On Saturday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, Rigondeaux won a twelve round unanimous decision over Nonito Donaire in a high-stakes HBO televised unification showdown. The scores were 114-113, 115-112 and 116-111.
Hyde, like some others, had Rigondeaux well ahead at the end.
"I thought the scores were too close. I had it 9-3. Maybe they scored a few rounds for Donaire because he was coming forward, but I thought the scores were too close and I had it 9-3 for Rigondeaux," Hyde told BoxingScene.com.
There are plenty of options out there, although most of the big names have moved up to the featherweight division. Some of the names mentioned by Hyde include Vic Darchinyan, who recently signed with Rigondeaux's promoter Top Rank, the winner of this Saturday's fight between Victor Terrazas and Cristian Mijares - who battle for the vacant WBC super bantamweight title, and recently crowned IBF champion Jhonatan Romero.
"Rigondeaux is not going to move up to featherweight. He's been fighting at this weight for about twelve years and he doesn't have any problems with it. I don't see him going up [to 126-pounds]. Rigondeaux will not sit on the shelf. We are very confident that [Top Rank CEO] Bob Arum will get us the opponents and keep him active," Hyde said.
Because of the promotional cold war between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions, Hyde realizes that opponents like Leo Santa Cruz or Abner Mares [should he come back to 122] will be difficult to secure.
One potential opponent, rising in the ranks, is overseas sensation Carl Frampton (16-0, 11KOs), who ironically shares the same "The Jackal" nickname as Rigondeaux. Because of Frampton's overseas star power, especially in Belfast, Hyde does not expect that fight to happen.
"I don't think it will happen. Frampton sells a lot of tickets over there. He can sell 9,000 tickets and I don't think he would come over [to the United States] for Rigondeaux," Hyde said.
Hyde expects Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner and widely regarded as one the greatest amateur fighters in history, to continue making his mark in the pro ranks.
"I think he showed it all. He is a complete fighter. He boxed, he moved well, he punched. And when he saw Donaire was hurt [in the twelfth round], he went after him to finish. I am very proud of him," Hyde said.