MANILA, Philippines – The super-bantamweight clash between champions Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux is once again in limbo after "The Filipino Flash" claimed the Cuban is refusing to honor their agreement regarding additional drug testing.
Donaire revealed on his Twitter and Facebook accounts early Tuesday that he will not attend Thursday's press conference at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill at the Times Square in New York, where the Rigondeaux fight was to be formally announced.
"I want you guys to hear it from me first. I am not going to NYC for the presser this Thursday, because Rigondeaux is backing off his agreement to VADA (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) drug testing," Donaire said.
Donaire is the only active fighter in boxing who submits himself to year-round drug-testing by VADA, and he says Rigondeaux has agreed to be tested during the negotiations for their fight.
"Rigo's team verbally agreed to both VADA testing both online and in negotiations," Donaire said. "But now that the contract to start testing is in front of them, they are finding every excuse not to sign and delay the start of the signing."
He also clarified that he did not require Rigondeaux to undergo VADA drug testing.
"Rigondeaux called me out and agreed to do VADA testing on his own. It was also in negotiations. So why back out when you gave your word as a man?" Donaire said.
Donaire stressed that he has not yet signed the fight contract, adding "I have no obligation to fight only him."
"I will be looking into other opponents with my manager, Cameron Dunkin, immediately," he added.
The 2012 Fighter of the Year expressed his disappointment over Rigondeaux’s decision, saying: "It disappoints me that top fighters these days run from everything that will hold professional boxing integrity to its highest standard."
In an interview with RingTV.com's Ryan Songalia, Rigondeaux’s manager refuted Donaire's claims.
"Rigo has not refused to take VADA testing," said Gary Hyde. "I am meeting Rigo tomorrow in New York at which point I will give him the VADA agreement which has been presented to me today in Spanish."
"I asked that the agreement be in Spanish so that Rigo would know exactly what he is signing off on," he added.
Hyde pointed out that Rigondeaux, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, "has been tested for 13 years" as an amateur boxer and expects that the Cuban will have no issue with signing up for the VADA testing.
"All the excuses are out of the way now," Hyde said. "Donaire should just sign the contract and give the boxing fans all over the world the fight they deserve."
"I would hate to think that Donaire is avoiding us again and making up ludicrous stories which have absolutely no foundation."
The Donaire-Rigondeaux clash was set to take place on April 13 in New York.