Drian Francisco of the Philippines has reportedly been offered a fight with WBA super bantamweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, which could take place on the Pacquiao-Marquez IV undercard on December 8, or could be the co-feature to Donaire-Arce on December 15.
Francisco (23-1-1, 18 KO) had been scheduled to return on November 17 on the Viloria-Marquez undercard in Los Angeles, but his team says they're ready to take the Rigondeaux fight:
Francisco’s manager Elmer Anuran told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard that “our camp is very much willing to take the offer. Drian and his coach Justin Fortune confirmed the acceptance yesterday.”
The youthful manager/promoter said “We’re mindful that Rigo is a great fighter, the defending champion, a two-time Olympic gold medalist but we also give Drian high credit and trust that he can surely deliver a good fight and God willing could pull off a big upset.”
The 29-year-old Francisco is a good fighter, an actual contender, and his only career loss came to Terdsak Kokietgym in May 2011 in Thailand. Since then he's gone 3-0, and 2-0 this year.
That's not to say that Rigondeaux (11-0, 8 KO) wouldn't be the heavy favorite, because he would and should be in that position. But it's a better fight for Rigondeaux, I think, than Teon Kennedy or Robert Marroquin have been this year, even though Marroquin had moments, and it's always nice to see guys like Francisco get a shot on U.S. TV, something that seems like it's been happening more this year, with guys like Toshiaki Nishioka, Jeffrey Mathebula, Vusi Malinga, etc., all featured on major American cards. It's something I think is good for everyone, getting more international names involved in these type of cards.
If the fight comes through, I like it just fine. And if they pair it with Donaire-Arce instead of putting it on the Pacquiao-Marquez card, it's a good way to compare Donaire and Rigondeaux on the same show, and put the question to both of them once again.