For a few hours, it appeared that the proposed April 13 junior featherweight unification bout between Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux would be in jeopardy when Rigondeaux had on Tuesday, failed to sign the contract.
Donaire, who has subjected himself to VADA random drug testing had agreed to fight Rigondeaux, if he would also subject to the testing, who had been calling him out and said he was willing to do whatever it took to make the fight.
However, having learned on Tuesday that Rigondeaux had not signed, Donaire threatened to not show up to the press conference, but luckily the issue was taken care of. According to Bob Arum, Rigondeaux had not signed the contract only because he wanted the VADA contract translated in Spanish.
On Thursday afternoon, both fighters were in attendance in New York City to officially announce the fight, which takes place at Radio City Music Hall, which marks only the second time that a pro boxing card has taken place at that venue (Roy Jones Jr. vs. David Telesco in 2000 was the first).
“I’d like to thank the promoters and HBO for putting this fight together I think this is what the world wants to see the Top-Two boxers in the world in this weight class,” said Rigondeaux, who won his first world title in January of 2012, when he knocked out Rico Ramos. “This is what I came to America for. I decided to go with my old trainer Pedro Luis Diaz who helped me win two Olympic gold medals. Jorge Rubio is a great trainer he did nothing wrong I just thought for this fight I would go back to do the type of training that I’ve never done in this country. I feel stronger than ever. I think this will be a great battle Nonito is one of the top boxers in the world and a gentleman. I’m looking forward to getting in the ring with him. We are both at the peak of our careers. On April 13th the world will witness one of the greatest boxing exhibitions they’ve ever seen.”
In response, Donaire kept things simple saying, ”See you on April 13, Rigondeaux.”
Donaire was 3MoreRound’s 2012 Fighter of the Year, and won the honor from various publications as well, going 4-0 (2 KOs) against Jorge Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka, Jeffrey Mathebula and Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.
“Coming off a spectacular year, Donaire wanted to keep the momentum rolling in 2013,” said Top Rank president Todd duBoef. “Fighting Rigondeaux at Radio City is the perfect combination. We are pleased that two of the most skilled athletes in the sport are reaching for their biggest challenges on April 13.”
HBO will televise the fight at 11 p.m. ET/PT, while tickets will go on sale on Feb. 23 at noon for $300, $150, $75 and $35.