Nonito Donaire will face Guillermo Rigondeaux in a title-unification bout on April 13 in New York after Rigondeaux’s camp finally agreed to undergo drug testing that will be conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA).
There were tense moments at the press conference on Thursday in New York. Donaire threatened to call off the fight if Rigondeaux will not sign the VADA agreement. But Top Rank Promotions chief Bob Arum intervened and successfully convinced Rigondeaux to sign the contract, which ended the delay in the scheduled presser.
Upon learning that Rigondeaux signed the contract, the reigning World Boxing Organization super bantamweight champion quickly apologized to his fans through his official Twitter account.
Donaire posted: “My deepest apologies to my fans who have sat here waiting on Top Rank Live Stream for the last hour. (Cameron) Dunkin said Rigo just signed the Spanish VADA contract he’s had since Tuesday AM, which was holding up the press conference.”
The press conference started afterwards as Arum took stage to officially kick off the highly-anticipated showdown. Arum said: “You’ve heard a lot about drug testing. The fighters want this to be a completely clean fight. So they’ve signed a protocol that says that the drug testing organization, which is VADA, and any other organization which might be added, will submit its reports to the fight camps, to the promoter, in confidence, and to the New York State Athletic Commission who will be the only entity that has jurisdiction over what action if any to take based on those reports.”
There were some pushing and shoving that is very usual in this kind of fights between two boxers who really hate each other. Rigondeaux’s manager, Gary Hyde, opened the trash talking when he said: “Nonito has been avoiding a confrontation with Rigondeaux and he is saying he is not on his radar. I can tell that you are on Rigondeaux’s radar and on the 13th of April, he will beat you and get your title.”
The consensus 2012 Fighter of the Year fired back during his turn. Donaire said: “I respect Gary Hyde’s comments earlier on that radar hype. I say Rigondeaux is a great fighter but I believe he still needs experience and he had to prove that on April 13. Their team believes in their fighter and I believe in myself so it will be a great fight.”
Donaire has been undefeated in his last 30 fights, including four sensational victories last week. On the other hand, Rigondeaux, who rose to prominence when he won two Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008, holds an unblemished 11-0 professional record with eight wins coming by way of knockout.
[Image Source: FightNews.com]