Monday, September 2, 2013
Fights for Rigo, Allakhverdiev?
Junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux is coming off his biggest victory, by far, when he got up from a knockdown and won a decision to unify 122-pound titles against 2012 fighter of the year Nonito Donaire in April.
But Rigondeaux (12-0, 8 KOs) still has nothing specifically lined up because HBO, less than enthralled with his non-aggressive performance against Donaire, has resisted putting him back on the air -- even though it was network executives who pressured Top Rank promoter Bob Arum to match Rigondeaux with Donaire.
However, it's Arum who says he remains hopeful that he can work something out with the network and that a potential December date for Rigondeaux is being discussed.
"I don't think it's right for them to abandon Rigondeaux, whatever his style is," Arum said of the two-time Cuban Olympic gold medalist. "He's still an amazing talent. We have to get him in with a guy who is aggressive."
Arum also hopes to feature junior welterweight titlist Khabib Allakhverdiev (19-0, 9 KOs), a Russian southpaw -- possibly on the same card with Rigondeaux. Allakhverdiev was scheduled to fight on HBO in March on the Mike Alvarado-Brandon Rios II undercard in Las Vegas, but an injury forced him off the show. He returned in July and made his mandatory defense in Monaco, scoring a lopsided 11th-round knockout of Souleymane M'baye.
If Arum has his way, Allakhverdiev will be headed back to America for his next defense.
"Khabib is a very entertaining and interesting fighter," Arum said. "I'd like to match him with [former lightweight titlist Antonio] DeMarco."
DeMarco lost his 135-pound title to Adrien Broner in November but returned on Aug. 10 to stop Fidel Monterrosa in the fifth round in an entertaining junior welterweight fight.