By Ryan Maquiñana
Guillermo Rigondeaux’s manager Gary Hyde informed BoxingScene.com Thursday afternoon that his fighter would have “no problem” complying with Nonito Donaire’s request for random drug testing in the event the pair ever met in a junior featherweight unification title tilt.
In addition, when asked about circulating rumors that Rigondeaux was working with strength coach Angel “Memo” Hernandez, Hyde would not mention the controversial guru by name, but reiterated that only he, trainer Jorge Rubio, and strength coach D.J. Montanocordoba make up the 32-year-old southpaw’s team.
Rigondeaux has not fought since last September, when he captured a unanimous decision over Roberto Marroquin. The Cuban champ was slated to close the year with a Dec. 15 defense in Houston on the undercard of Donaire’s third-round knockout of Jorge Arce, but opponent Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym was forced to pull out, reportedly due to a positive HIV test.
The tension between Rigondeaux and Donaire’s teams escalated in the Texas city. After the card, Donaire alleged that Montanocordoba had yelled at a female member of his entourage. Montanocordoba denied the claim via a press release days later.
Hyde stated last month that although his focus has been on securing a shot at “The Filipino Flash,” Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs) will fight someone else on Feb. 23. However, the Ireland-based manager said that Top Rank CEO Bob Arum has promised Rigondeaux a June clash with the 30-year-old Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs), who was named 2012 Fighter of the Year by several publications including this very site. Donaire earned global acclaim last July for becoming the first fighter in the history of combat sports to submit to year-round random drug testing through the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
Here is Hyde’s statement in full, which BoxingScene.com received via e-mail:
“First of all I would like to congratulate Nonito Donaire on being named fighter of the year. He had a good year in 2012 many boxing writers and fans have him ranked as the number 1 122lb fighter however Team Rigondeaux are confident that Rigo has the tools to dismantle Nonito. We expect the fight to be made sometime this summer.
“It would seem that there are some rumours circulating that Rigo is being trained by people outside our team. This is all they are, DJ Montanocordoba has been doing a stellar job with Rigondeaux as has Jorge Rubio. Apparently someone has been speaking to boxing writers by claiming to be a member of team Rigondeaux and have been sowing the seeds of these rumours. I would just like to clear it up by stating that the bonefide members of Team Rigondeaux are myself, DJ Montanocordoba and Jorge Rubio.
“In relation to Donaires demands for Olympic style testing I can confirm that we have no problem with this form of testing and Rigo is very familiar with it as he won Olympic Gold in 2000 and 2004. He spent his entire amateur career submitting to random Olympic style testing.”
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.