Saturday, September 15, 2012
Rigondeaux offered contract extension
By Dan Rafael
LAS VEGAS -- Top Rank's Bob Arum said Friday that he has offered a contract extension to junior featherweight titlist Guillermo Rigondeaux, contingent upon him defeating Robert Marroquin on the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez undercard on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.
The fight with Marroquin is the last one on Top Rank's contract with Rigondeaux. There has been litigation over his deals with manager Gary Hyde, as well as nominal co-promoter Caribe Promotions. Because of the legal maneuvering, Rigondeaux didn't even know for sure if he would be on the card until earlier in the week.
Still, Arum is very high on the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Cuba, who was one of the greatest amateurs ever. Arum said he met this week with Rigondeaux's team and offered him an 18-month contract for a minimum of three fights and a maximum of five, with minimum purses that Rigondeaux's side was happy with.
"We've made a proposal to them and we're trying to get it done," Arum said.
Under the deal, if it is completed, Arum said Rigondeaux (10-0, 8 KOs) would fight again before the end of the year.
"Rigondeaux fits right in our wheelhouse at 122 and 126 pounds," Arum said. "And he has no problem fighting anyone, anywhere -- Mexico or wherever. That makes him attractive to us."
Arum is heavily involved in those two divisions, promoting such fighters as unified junior featherweight titlist Nonito Donaire (whom Rigondeaux badly wants to fight), featherweight titlist Orlando Salido, featherweight contender Mikey Garcia (who will fight Salido in the fall) and former titlist Juan Manuel Lopez.
Luis DeCubas Sr., a close adviser of Rigondeaux's who was at the meeting with Arum, said he hoped to finalize Arum's offer.
"It was a great deal," DeCubas said. "I love the deal, but there are still a few hurdles. But I think everyone was happy when we left those meetings."
Hyde said although he is considering the offer from Arum, it's too early to say they have a deal.
"I met with Bob Arum on Thursday and he increased his earlier proposal considerably, but Rigo has not signed a promotional deal with Top Rank or any other promoter, for that matter," Hyde said. "I am waiting for Top Rank to send its proposal to my attorney, Patrick English, and then I will consider it. We have two other lucrative offers and will decide which promoter we will sign with after thoroughly reviewing each all proposal."