Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux will fight this April. No matter what either one says, regardless of the nonsense their representatives decide to put out for public consumption, the pair’s bout is etched in stone. The match means too much to both, from a financial and pound-for-pound rankings standpoint, to not be made.
That being said, despite the inevitability of their showdown, Donaire and Rigondeaux seem intent on wrecking as much PR havoc as possible en route to their bout.
You will recall, last week controversy erupted when Donaire demanded that both fighters submit to VADA testing. Not wanting to give in to his foe, Rigondeaux agreed to testing – USADA testing. It was a classic you say pot-ate-o, I say pot-ut-o situation. They were arguing for the same thing, increased testing, but quibbling over the specifics of how said testing would go.
Ultimately, this weekend, it appeared as though a resolution had been reached. They would do both sorts of testing. That, in theory, was supposed to appease everyone.
On his Facebook page this past Saturday, Donaire posted the following: "Rigo has not started testing in VADA bc he left no whereabout addresses AND NO phone numbers to find him.”
Rigondeaux’s manager, Gary Hyde, responded to that accusation in an interview with ESPN.
"VADA has received the information which wasn't on the agreement,” he said. “Basically, Rigo could not fill in the address where he will be staying when he is in camp because he hadn't decided on which house he was going to rent. However, he has decided now and his trainer, Pedro Diaz, has provided this information to VADA. USADA have not been contacted yet but this will be done on Monday."
He was then asked if Rigondeaux would submit to drug testing on Monday.
"Of course, but Nonito doesn't make the rules," Hyde said.
And the fight was still going down?
"One hundred percent, unless Donaire chickens out!" Hyde said.
On Sunday, Hyde told ESPN that he had "just received an e-mail from VADA confirming that they are in receipt of all information needed to process Rigo's VADA screening agreement."
Problem solved, right? All good to go for April? Not exactly. After that comment by Hyde, Donaire released this statement to Doghouse Boxing:
"The requirements of drug testing set forth in the negotiations for the fight with Rigondeaux was not met by the deadline of the press conference as agreed upon and I have the option of canceling the fight at this point.
“I have decided to follow through with the fight in April out of respect for HBO and my fans who have bought tickets and travel. I will turn in my signed bout contract into Top Rank on Monday. My manager, Cameron Dunkin, delayed submittal because of the fear that the other team would procrastinate complete enrollment. I did not expect it would be this hard to enforce drug testing on my opponent.
“In light of this and in addition to the performance enhancing scandals of Lance Armstrong to Alex Rodriguez and the 20 MLB players, I have decided from this point on, I will MANDATE my opponents to enroll in drug testing before I agree to any fights. Performance Enhancing Drugs have become rampant in sports and needs to be addressed.
“I want to clarify that I am not accusing Rigondeaux of taking performance enhancing drugs but do not agree with the amount of time and wasted effort it took to secure drug testing that he previously agreed to. I am disappointed that instead of jumping at the opportunity to make this a fight remembered as one that is trying to change the drug testing game, it turned into one that spent more time slinging insults.
“Despite it all, I still stand for random 24/7/365 blood & urine testing and believe more clean athletes will volunteer to set a new standard in sports and prove you can be the best without drugs."
Summary: this fight is still happening, regardless of whether either man gets the testing they really want, so basically this is all for show. Shocking.