Unification fight to push through on April 13
NEW YORK – Even before the press conference for the Nonito Donaire-Guillermo Rigondeaux fight began on Thursday (Friday in Manila), tension was high between both camps.
This was because the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba delayed signing up for the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) testing up to the last minute.
Although the test is not mandatory, Donaire stressed that both parties agreed to undergo drug screening to make sure that both he and Rigondeaux are drug-free before climbing the ring at the historical Radio City Music Hall in New York on April 13.
“He's trying to play games, you know, to see if they can take advantage,” said Donaire.
“They demanded me to fight them, I gave them that demand, you know, but in the process, they call themselves out by saying oh we'll take the test so with that said, you know, go ahead let's put that in the contract and they agreed to it, now they're trying to back out.”
The Filipino Flash is the only boxer who undergoes year-round random drug testing under VADA.
Boxing promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank assured that the unification title bout between Donaire, the WBO super bantam king, and Rigondeaux, the WBA 122-titlist, will push through despite the drug test controversy.
“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,” said the Top Rank CEO.
“We really believe this is the way to go for the sport. We advocate drug testing, but we want it to be done in an orderly manner, not with the wildness that we’ve seen with some of these events in the past.”
The last time a boxing match was held at the Radio City Music Hall was in 2000 when it hosted the battle between Roy Jones and David Telesco.
This is why New York fans are eagerly waiting for the fight, said Arum.
Rigondeaux said Donaire should be prepared to be surprised.
“[The] April 13 the fight is confirmed. We’re moving forward and get ready for April 13, there's a few surprises especially for 2013,” the Cuban said through a translator.