MANILA, Philippines – World super bantamweight champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire will likely face fellow titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux of Cuba in his first fight of 2013.
Boxing Scene reported that an April 13 fight between Donaire and Rigondeaux is nearly a done deal, with Rigondeaux’s manager Gary Hyde confirming that he has received an official contract for the bout.
“(We are) happy with the contract in principle and hope to have it signed this week,” a member of Team Rigondeaux told Boxing Scene.
In a separate Boxing Scene report, Hyde called on Top Rank to keep its word and put the Rigondeaux-Donaire fight together.
“It is well known that Top Rank committed a Donaire bout to HBO in Apri. It is well known that Mr. Rigondeaux has a multi-bout agreement with Top Rank which calls for a Donaire bout,” Hyde said in a statement.
“Top Rank cannot violate its word to Rigondeaux and we do not anticipate it would violate its word to HBO,” he added.
The reports come as negotiations for a fight between Donaire and another champion, Mexico’s Abner Mares, fell apart over promotional issues.
A bout between Mares and Donaire proved to be difficult to put together, given that they are promoted by rival companies: the Mexican is signed with Golden Boy while “The Filipino Flash” is with Top Rank.
A clash against Rigondeaux, who is also promoted by Top Rank, was easier to make. The undefeated Cuban has been calling for a fight with Donaire since last year.
Although Rigondeaux has only fought 11 professional fights, he will likely be a tough challenge for Donaire given his sterling amateur career, which includes two Olympic gold medals.