By Ryan Maquiñana
Unified junior featherweight world champion Nonito Donaire stated Tuesday that he has neither signed his contract to fight fellow 122-pound titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux, nor will he attend Thursday’s press conference in New York City to announce their Apr. 13 bout.
After CSNBayArea.com revealed last week that Rigondeaux had not yet agreed to random testing to be administered by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association leading up to the fight, Donaire (31-1, 20 KOs) released this statement via social media:
“I want you guys to hear it from me first. I am NOT going to NYC for the presser this Thursday [because] Rigo is backing off his agreement to VADA drug testing. Rigo's team verbally agreed to VADA testing both online and in negotiations. But now that the contract to start testing is infront of them, they are finding every excuse not to sign and delay the start of the testing. I have NOT signed my fight contract yet to fight him so I have no obligation to fight ONLY HIM. It disappoints me that top fighters these days run from everything that will hold professional boxing integrity to its highest standard. I will be looking into other opponents with my manager, Cameron Dunkin immediately."
During negotiations, Rigondeaux’s manager, Gary Hyde, said that his fighter would have no problem submitting to random drug testing, especially since it was part of his Olympic training program during his amateur days in Cuba. Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KOs) captured gold medals in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 before moving to Miami, Fla., and turning pro.
Hyde sent a statement to BoxingScene on Tuesday, indicating his boxer's willingness to agree to a random drug testing protocol.
"Rigo has never refused to sign up for VADA testing. I asked Top Rank lawyer Dan Pancheri today if he would send the VADA agreement in Spanish as Rigo does not understand English. I also asked that all substances given to Donaire by Victor Conte be sent to us so that we could have them checked out. I have just received the VADA agreement in Spanish and Victor Conte has agreed to send us all substances he is giving Donaire. Rigo will now sign the VADA agreement and Donaire should sign the bout contract. Donaire should not put anymore misleading posts on Twitter. Let's get it on. Rigo's time to show the world who's boss," Hyde stated.
Rigondeaux's co-promoter Boris Arencibia, CEO of Caribe Promotions, was very upset with Donaire's comments, because his fighter was always ready to sign a drug testing agreement, and he doesn't care if it's VADA, USADA or another company running the testing.
“We do not understand this situation. From the moment the fight was announced we all agreed to involve the VADA drug tests,” Arencibia said. "We just received these VADA documents earlier today, where is states that Rigondeaux and Donaire will be submitting themselves to blood tests to detect PEDs and we are ready to take these tests.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org , check out his blog at Norcalboxing.net, or follow him on Twitter: @RMaq28.