- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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In April, Guillermo Rigondeaux outpointed Nonito Donaire to unify junior featherweight world titles. Although it wasn't a crowd-pleasing performance, Rigondeaux's talent is undeniable.
So when Top Rank chairman Bob Arum went to HBO to talk about his next fight -- and it was HBO that pressured Arum to make Rigondeaux-Donaire in the first place -- he was rather surprised when the network showed no interest in putting Rigondeaux back on.
The quote Arum gave me on the topic was one of his all-time classics:
"Every time I mention him, they throw up," Arum said of HBO executives.
Well, apparently those execs can now keep their food down because they have changed course and agreed to feature Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KOs) as a headliner. Arum said that the network is giving him a date for the two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalists' next fight before the end of the year, which the network has acknowledged.
"He will definitely fight on HBO in December," Arum said.
The date will be either Dec. 7 or Dec. 14, Arum said.
"We're working on a good fight," Arum said, declining to name the prospective opponent. However, Arum did say it would not be Chris Avalos, a name floated recently as a possible Rigondeaux opponent but understandably declined by HBO.
Arum hopes to line up a fight for junior welterweight titlist Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-0, 9 KOs), a Russian southpaw, in the co-feature. He was due to fight on HBO in March in the Mike Alvarado-Brandon Rios II co-feature before an injury knocked him off the show.